The Macron scam fails to deter Yellow Vest and union protests

first_img As for the so-called “helping hand” to pensioners, we are being lied to once again: After having seen their retirement pensions reduced over the past 18 months — though Macron had sworn during his election campaign to protect them — not only will pensioners gain nothing (what was announced is the waiver of an additional tax). Above all they will lose even more purchasing power, since the increase in the value of pensions as of January 2019 — plus 0.3 percent — will not even compensate for the rate of inflation — plus 2 percent — expected for 2019.This false generosity of a “president who listens to the French” is therefore in the end nothing more than a hidden deepening of the logic of neoliberal austerity. Private sector wages are still not rising, civil servants’ salaries remain frozen, unemployment benefits continue to be cut. Basically, who are the “great forgotten” in the presidential speech? The rich! Big business and stock shareholders are rubbing their hands: No new contributions will be asked of them. The wealth tax is not restored! The torrents of public money offered as gifts to transnational corporations through the “tax credit for competition and employment” (CICE), without any guarantee of productive investment or job creation, are not slowed down! And the “reforms” of the destruction of State and public services, pension systems, social protection of citizens … are not being challenged!Three days before the president’s announcements, the French Senate had voted to reduce the “exit-tax,” a mechanism for taxing unrealized capital gains when wealthy taxpayers transfer to their home outside France in order to benefit from more advantageous taxation abroad. And just three days after the speech on Dec. 10, the management of the Ford automotive group confirmed its decision to close its Blanquefort plant, on the outskirts of Bordeaux, and to lay off more than 850 workers — who had accepted wage cuts in recent years to, they were told, “save the company.” Everything has changed so that nothing changes.Union demonstrations strongWhat reasons would there be for the Yellow Vests and all the workers to stop  fighting? On Dec. 14, a day of action, strikes and demonstrations organized at the call of the CGT (General Confederation of Labor), FO (Workers’ Force), FSU (Unitary Trade Union Federation) and Union Syndicale Solidaires (of which SUD [Democratic Unitary Solidarity] is a member) drew thousands of people in Paris and several other large cities in France to support the immediate increase of wages and pensions, and the defense of social protection. Contingents from high schools joined the protest.The next day, Dec. 15, was “Act V” of the Yellow Vests’ mobilization. It took place in a particular context: that of a terrorist attack which occurred a few days earlier in the streets of Strasbourg, killing five people and imposing a moment of meditation in the country — and the postponement of a motion of censure presented by the left against the government in the National Assembly. The Macronian regime responded to the fifth demonstration of the Yellow Vests like a circus tamer trains a beast: by beating it with a stick and a whip — after the tiny treat [Macron’s speech] given Monday evening. The deployment of police forces was impressive: one police officer for every demonstrator throughout the country. In Paris there were even two police officers per demonstrator. Dozens of Paris metro stations were closed, and searching spots had been set up in train stations and various public places the day before. Some 168 arrests were made in the capital, and 115 people were put in police custody. That evening, the social networks of the Yellow Vests were already inviting us to an “Act VI” on Saturday, Dec. 22, to “prepare for Christmas Eve in Paris” and “the victory of the people.”Herrera is a Marxist economist, a researcher at the Centre national de la Recherche scientifique (CNRS), who works at the Centre d’Économie de la Sorbonne, Paris. WW staff translated this article.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this Dec. 15 — In his brief Dec. 10 television address, French President Emmanuel Macron outlined the measures aimed at calming the popular anger of the “Yellow Vests”: 1) the pay of workers receiving the minimum wage (SMIC) would increase by “100 euros per month” starting January 2019; 2) a bonus “which will have no tax or charge” would be paid at the end of 2018 by “all employers who can”; 3) the payment of overtime would again be tax-free; and 4) the increase in the general social security tax (CSG) would be canceled in 2019 for retirees receiving less than 2,000 euros ($2,268) a month.Despite the brevity and technicality of the remarks, it didn’t take the French very long to calculate what they were going to gain in this case: almost nothing! The president performed one of his theater scenes — for which his spouse [an acting teacher] has been training him since he was 16 years old. However, this communication included a hypocritical solo in a guilty tone, something to which Macron, usually so scornful, had not accustomed his fellow citizens. Presidential arrogance decreased in tone, but not his incredible talent for sleight of hand! Between threats of increased repression and overplayed compassion, Macron the magician pulled out of his hat a thin bouquet of faded flowers: four measuring spoons that made the French look like beggars and served as a pretext for the dominant media to shout out for an end to the mobilization of Yellow Vests.Concessions concede littleThe reasons: The 100 euro increase in the SMIC will mainly come from the automatic legal increase of 25 euros, which will buy two take-out meals at McDonald’s, with ice cream, and the rest from the payment of an activity bonus that was already planned. Clearly, this increase was budgeted for the year 2019; in reality its introduction is just moved up by a few months. The tax exemption for overtime pay was already planned for 2019. It restores a system set up by former President Nicolas Sarkozy. On the contrary, what should have been proposed is to shorten the work week to share work with the unemployed and part-time or precarious workers. Of course the bosses should also pay the millions of overtime hours already worked by workers, but still not paid by employers (or the government). center_img Very few workers will be affected by the other bonus, called “exceptional,” because its payment is left to the good will of the bosses. Only large firms will be able to pay it, certainly not small and medium-sized enterprises. As this bonus is exempt from “social security contributions,” the bosses who can give it will even gain in doing so rather than increasing salaries!last_img read more

Long Island gets first battery storage unit

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Newsday:Talk about a Hamptons power trip.Starting this month, the South Fork becomes home to Long Island’s first and largest utility-scale battery storage unit as part of an effort by PSEG Long Island and LIPA to boost power to the energy-starved Hamptons—from the Shinnecock Canal to Montauk Point.PSEG and the battery’s owners at National Grid and NextEra Energy Resources flipped the switch on the barrack-sized unit Aug. 1.The 5-megawatt battery storage unit, located at a LIPA substation in East Hampton, is one of two set for the South Fork as a way to deal with what the utility says is soaring electric demand. At peak summer times, the South Fork draws some 300 megawatts of power, PSEG officials said. One megawatt powers 800-1,000 homes, but South Fork customers use more than most, PSEG has said, particularly during the summer.A second battery is planned for Montauk later this year.Both units, costing a combined $110 million over a 20-year contract with NextEra and National Grid, have the potential to save money on energy but for now are being used to improve reliability on the system, said Daniel Eichhorn, president of PSEG Long Island.LIPA chief Tom Falcone said the units will be in place to store energy when a $1.62 billion wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island is producing energy by the end of 2022. More: Region’s largest battery on line in the Hamptons Long Island gets first battery storage unitlast_img read more

Taking Aim at Nuts With Guns

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York I grew up in Levittown in the 1960s and 1970s. Like most gray-haired baby boomers, I remember the “air-raid drill.”It entailed being escorted out of my classroom, lined up against the cold brick hallway walls, and told to put my hands atop my head so when that nuclear fireball erupted, incinerating anything and everything for miles around us, we’d be okay. I also remember seeing those little yellow signs posted on the exterior of public buildings: FALLOUT SHELTER.I wasn’t sure what Khrushchev and Brezhnev had against Levittown. But it seemed as if we were a target. Was it our shopping centers? Was it Mr. Gateson, my fourth-grade teacher? Or was my father really not a “sales rep” and instead, an agent of the CIA?As alarming as those drills were, I remember goofing off in those hallways. Even at a young age, something told us not to worry. Thirty thousand nuclear missiles pointed right at us seemed a distant threat.Compare that to the threats our children must constantly process: the very clear and present danger of a shooting in their school. So grave that the president of the United States has endorsed training old Mr. Gateson to carry a weapon into a fourth-grade classroom.Gun lobbyists chant that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun. Whether that applies to gym teachers I’ve had is debatable. What is not debatable is that the best way to reduce gun violence is to make it harder for people with mental illnesses, criminals and terrorists to get guns.Facts are facts. This is irrefutable: In the U.S. and around the world, where there are sane gun security rules, far fewer children are murdered in their schools. It’s the exception to the rule, not the weekly “Breaking News.”Please don’t tell me that’s fake news or alternative facts. People throw out that canard when they have no intellectual leg to stand on.Why doesn’t Congress stand up to the gun lobby? More than 80 percent of Americans support universal background checks and “No Fly, No Buy.” Republicans and Democrats alike. Even most NRA members.Here’s why: After votes on gun security measures in Congress were defeated, a moderate Republican who voted against each measure confessed to me how embarrassed he was.“So, why’d you vote that way?” I asked. His answer: “Going back home with a bad vote on guns is politically nuts.”When members of Congress are more concerned with nuts with guns, our children and grandchildren will be safer.Steve Israel’s next novel “Big Guns” may be ordered at repsteveisrael.com or directly from your local bookstore.last_img read more

Advancing the credit union industry through powerful partnerships

first_imgIf the active, enthusiastic participation at the African American Credit Union Coalition Annual Conference is any indicator, the “people helping people” credit union philosophy is not only alive, it’s on overdrive. At the conference, held recently in Charlotte, N.C., more than 300 credit union professionals gathered to share ideas to foster member financial wellbeing and leverage the power of diversity and inclusion to strengthen the global credit union movement. To maintain this momentum and advance the “people helping people” philosophy, it is important for organizations across the industry to embrace the power of partnerships and understand the importance of coming together to address some of the industry’s leading opportunities and challenges. Strategic partnerships can not only provide different strengths and capabilities, but also diverse opinions that make it possible to reach specific objectives. For example, in our space, smaller organizations can lean on larger organizations for resources and support or to reach a broader audience, while larger organizations can utilize the feedback and input of smaller groups to ensure their goals and initiatives are inclusive and beneficial for all. From partnerships created among internal groups to larger relationships between big businesses, harnessing this power can be valuable for all partners and lead to influential changes and achievements.At the African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC), we have experienced the powerful impact partnering with like-minded organizations can have on our group firsthand. The AACUC was created to increase diversity within the credit union community through advocacy and professional development. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization recognizes the differences and distinctions of each individual, group or organization that are represented in society and within the credit union movement, and it welcomes any and all of these entities as members in furtherance of its mission to strengthen the global credit union movement.Throughout 2019, the AACUC worked with PSCU, the nation’s premier payments CUSO, to launch a brand new initiative – the Women’s Power Series, which was created to cultivate and connect a network of professionals who champion women’s leadership and ongoing contributions to the evolution of the credit union industry. The partnership between the AACUC and PSCU was established as a result of the National Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union Development Education (CUDE) Program, which gathers credit union industry executives for experiential training to promote the education and application of credit union business principles and philosophy. During our CUDE training, we saw the need for ways to support AACUC women and other advocates to connect, network and sharpen skills for career progression. As a result, PSCU, a long-time champion of diversity and inclusion issues, stepped in to establish the Women’s Power Series. Through close collaboration, we built the content, promoted and facilitated events, allowing the AACUC to further its mission and continue spreading its message of diversity and inclusivity to a larger pool of potential participants.Since its launch in April 2019, AACUC and PSCU have hosted two webinars as part of the Women’s Power Series, with more webinars and in-person leadership sessions planned throughout the remainder of the year and into 2020. Attendance for each session has grown steadily – with more than 350 attendees joining the webinars and packed rooms for in-person meetings – and interest continues to increase among AACUC members, PSCU employees, credit unions and other industry organizations. The Women’s Power Series is a testament to the power of partnerships. Collaboration, teamwork and establishing trusted partnerships are fundamental to strengthening the credit union industry, advancing the credit union movement and empowering employees, members and other players to be part of the change and betterment of the industry.Co-Authored by: Renée Sattiewhite is the President and CEO of the AACUC. With over 35 years of experience in finance, her background is in training and marketing, specializing in customer service, effective communication, board development and strategic planning. She has been involved with credit unions for over 25 years and was the first Internship Program Director for the AACUC. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Merry Pateuk Merry Pateuk is vice president of industry engagement at PSCU. Since 1989, Merry has served in a wide range of senior leadership roles, each of which were critical to building … Web: www.pscu.com Detailslast_img read more

Eastern promise

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Asymptomatic patient tests positive for COVID-19 in West Java

first_imgAccording to labmanager.com, biosafety level two would cover work with agents associated with human disease: in other words, pathogenic or infectious organisms posing a moderate hazard. Meanwhile, the West Java Health Laboratory, which is the nation’s referral center for tuberculosis, was certified at biosafety level 2+.The West Java administration previously planned to allocate two waves of funding for coronavirus response from the regional disaster management fund, one of Rp 24 billion (US$1.6 million) and the other of Rp 50 billion.Ridwan said the first allocation was increased to Rp 47 billion under the approval of the West Java Council. He said the budget would be used for purchasing more test kits.Indonesia has recorded 227 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 19 deaths and 11 recovered cases as of Wednesday.West Java Information and Coordination Center for COVID-19 reported the province had 11 confirmed cases, while the number of people under monitoring was 1,004 and of patients under surveillance in isolation rooms was 101 people as of Wednesday. (syk) West Java has taken proactive steps to conduct sample examinations to test residents who are suspected of having the coronavirus, but do not display symptoms, and to accelerate receiving the test results to within hours.West Java Health Agency head Berli Hamdani Gelung Sakti said the tests they applied required two samples using nose and throat swabs, which would be brought to the health laboratory for polymerase chain reaction examinations.“[The test kits] are in support of the Medical School of Padjadjaran University and the Bandung Institute of Technology,” Berli said.Ridwan said the universities’ laboratories were at “biosafety level two”.  West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil says the West Java Health Laboratory has detected one positive COVID-19 case who showed no symptoms at all among the hundreds of independent sample examinations the province conducted.“From 230 tests, it turned out there was one positive case. [The person is] now being treated at Hasan Sadikin Hospital,” Ridwan said at Gedung Sate in Bandung on Wednesday. “That person looked healthy. We must be careful and not wait for the symptoms [to show].”Ridwan did not specify how the patient had been infected but he said the person had been isolated so as not to infect others.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Sterling sinks as Johnson resurrects spectre of no-deal Brexit

first_img“If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free-trade agreement between us,” Johnson said, insisting it would still be a “good outcome” for Britain.The Financial Times meanwhile reported that Johnson is planning legislation to override parts of the withdrawal treaty that Britain and the EU agreed last year.The report cited three people close to the plans as saying a bill to be put before parliament this week would undermine agreements relating to Northern Ireland customs and state aid.’Negotiation tactics?’ The British pound sank Monday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to revive investor fears of a no-deal Brexit, dealers said.Heading into the half-way point in London, sterling deepened losses to shed 1.0 percent versus the dollar. It was also down 0.8 percent against the European single currency.Johnson has given an Oct. 15 deadline for a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union, brushing off fears about “no-deal” chaos if talks fail. “Judging by today’s price action in the pound, investors appear to believe that Johnson has indeed resurrected the spectre of a no-deal Brexit,” ThinkMarkets analyst Fawad Razaqzada told AFP.”However, I reckon it is all part of negotiation tactics – and in the end a cliff-edge Brexit will probably be avoided as it is not in either party’s interests.”In response to the report, Downing Street said only that it was still “working hard to resolve outstanding issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol” but was considering “fall-back options”.EU leader Ursula von der Leyen warned that Britain is legally obliged to respect the Brexit withdrawal agreement, which must form the basis of bilateral relations going forward.The eighth round of negotiations resume in London this week, with both sides talking increasingly tough, amid accusations of intransigence and political brinkmanship.European stocks rallyThe weak pound meanwhile handed a fillip to the London stock market, because it boosts the share prices of multinationals earning in dollars.Frankfurt and Paris also charged higher as investors snapped up bargain stocks following heady losses last week.Asian equities struggled Monday, with a mixed US jobs report offsetting a pledge from Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell that interest rates would remain rock-bottom for years.China-US tensions and a lack of progress in Washington stimulus talks – all against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic – were keeping markets from surging.Wall Street nursed more losses on Friday, albeit shallower than Thursday’s rout that hammered the tech sector as traders took profits from months of huge gains.In commodity markets on Monday, world oil prices sank on stubborn concerns over the long-term energy demand outlook, as economies struggle to shake off coronavirus fallout.”The market is growing less and less confident that oil demand will recover as quickly as it hoped,” said Rystad Energy analyst Paola Rodriguez-Masiu.Topics :last_img read more

Save The Life Of Your Child Headed To College – Tips…

first_imgSubmitted by Healthy Future PediatricsIf your child is soon to be off to college, congratulations. You have likely put considerable time and effort into raising your child to the point where he or she is now taking the first steps as an independent adult. While for most this will be a wonderful and rewarding experience, for a few it will be a disaster. Here are some suggestions to help make sure your son or daughter have a safe and successful college experience.Talk about Alcohol Even at the best of schools underage drinking is common. Sadly every year a number of young college students drink themselves to death. While some will die in alcohol related accidents other will die from the direct toxic effects of drinking too much alcohol too fast. Giving your child some basic information about alcohol could make a big difference. A 12 ounce can of beer and a 5 ounce glass of wine contain one half ounce of ethanol. On the other hand just 1.5 ounces of Vodka (or any other 80 proof distilled spirits) contains the same amount. It is no surprise that alcohol poisoning is more commonly associated with drinking hard liquors. Drinking games can lead to a large volume to be consumed in a short amount of time. As the alcohol enters the blood stream the blood alcohol level quickly rises to the point the person passes out. What looks like someone taking a nap can be the first step toward dying. The alcohol decreases the drive to breathe and makes coughing or guarding the airway more difficult. A seizure or aspirating vomit is a life threatening event that few are apt to notice in the circumstances where this happens.Roughly a human body can detoxify a half ounce of alcohol per hour. Absorption is quicker if the drink is carbonated. The blood alcohol level varies by the size of the person and what they are drinking. Advise your child not to drink alcohol, but if he or she does, then make sure your child is smart about it. Remind them to avoid hard liquor and pace themselves. There are now applications that run on phones that can calculate the blood alcohol level with surprising accuracy ( DrinkTracker – http://www.slappme.com/ ).Get VaccinatedMany colleges request information on vaccination before entry. It is most common that schools require proof of Measles vaccination (the students need two MMR vaccinations) and a Meningococcal vaccine. Don’t think just because these are the requirements that there is nothing more to consider. I find most college students have had two MMR vaccinations since it’s required for entry to public schools. What most don’t know is that the protection from the Meningococcal vaccine (MCV4, Menactra, Menevo, Menimmune) wears off in five years. It is now recommended that students get a second Meningococcal vaccination before entering college or the military. It’s a really good idea. Meningococcus is a bacterium that circulates in large groups of people such as those living in dorms and barracks. When it strikes it can cause death within hours. It is a truly frightening disease. The vaccine is the best protection we have to avoid it.Human Papilloma Virus or HPV is common among young sexually active people. Estimates are that 40% of sexually active college students are infected. These are wart viruses that in the early stages show no outward sign of infection. It is spread through many types of contact, not just intercourse. HPV gets around. Some types are associated with types of cancer while others cause genital warts. HPV vaccine is safe and effective, but to be protected your child will need a series of vaccinations before they go to college.Influenza vaccination may not strike many as that important. It’s just the flu. Well as someone who sees patients with “just the flu” I have to tell you it scares the heck out of me. Influenza is a respiratory virus. Primarily it affects your lungs. Your nightmare scenario is that your child gets pneumonia as a consequence of getting influenza. This can easily result in a hospital stay and there are a small but real number of perfectly healthy people who die of influenza each year. Every year hundreds of millions of doses of flu vaccine are given. We have more safety data on influenza vaccine than any vaccine given. By every quality measure it is a safe and effective vaccine. Make sure your child gets the flu vaccine.Sex HappensEven if you’re certain your child is not currently sexually active it would be wise to make sure they are prepared. While condoms are the best tool for preventing sexually transmitted disease, if your child chooses to become sexually active, in teenage populations, when used as the sole method of birth control, condoms are only 50% effective.  This is a very fertile population. Tell your college student about Plan B. This is a tablet available at pharmacies often without prescription that is taken by the female partner if there is unprotected sex or a condom failure. It can reduce unintended pregnancy by up to 80% when taken soon after sexual contact. Make sure a supply of both condoms and Plan B accompanies your child to college. Replenish the supply without question at every opportunity.Sleep is really, really importantThe recommended amount of sleep for a teenager is 9 to 9.25 hours. Few get the recommended amount of sleep and it does have a negative impact. Chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk for depression. Every year I hear a story on the news about a college student committing suicide. I often wonder if these cases could have been prevented by something as simple as getting enough sleep. Our society sends insane messages about sleep. As if the answer was as simple as an unending supply of 5 Hour Energy. What a joke. Students often stay up studying for a final exam or to get a project done at the last minute. The problem can come the next day when they decide to drive home. Driving with too little sleep is the second leading cause of car accidents. Research shows that a driver who is tired can be as impaired as someone who has been drinking but feels as if they can drive fine. I think of this every time I read about a fatal car accident where the driver crossed the center line or failed to make a curve. Why did that happen?Healthy Future Pediatrics3023 Pacific Ave SEOlympia, WA 98506360.528.4220 Facebook0Tweet0Pin0last_img read more