Almost thirty per cent of women are paid below the living wage, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics. The government stats authority says 29 per cent of women workers earn less than the level calculated to provide a basic standard of living. The figures compare to 18 per cent of men who are missing out on the rate of pay, currently set at £7.85 an hour over most of the UK and £9.15 in London, where living costs are higher.
When it comes to gender equality, Japan ranks 104th out of 142 nations, according to the World Economic Forum, significantly behind other advanced economies. The BBC's Mariko Oi set out to discover what working life is like for five women in Tokyo.
Conservation groups say recent increases may be illegal Staff Report Conservation activists want to know why U.S. oil exports have been increasing despite a Congressional ban. According to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and ForestEthics, exports increased from 44,000 barrels per day in 2009 to 351,000 barrels per day in 2014. The lawsuit challenges the Bureau of Industry and Security, an agency within the Department of Commerce, for withholding documents related to its oil-export approval process. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The World Bank recently did a brave and very revealing piece of research. They asked their own staff to what extent they imagined poorer and richer people in three countries would agree with the statement: ‘What happens to me in the future mostly depends on me.’ Bank staff predicted that around 20 per cent of poor people would agree with the statement.
In fact, more than 80 per cent of poor people felt that what happened to them in the future depended on their own efforts – four times as many as the World Bank staff had predicted, and about the same proportion as richer people.
A report released Wednesday examining the pay practices of the 30 largest publicly held U.S. oil, gas, and coal companies concluded that pay incentives for the companies' chief executives encourages reckless behavior and is hastening a climate crisis.
The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T.
While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed NSA documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as “highly collaborative,” while another lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.”
Lawmakers rally to block attacks on key environmental law Staff Report Conservation-minded lawmakers are rallying to counter the GOP’s seemingly endless attacks on the Endangered Species Act. In a letter to President Barack Obama, 91 members of Congress warned that Republicans are “doubling down” on their efforts to undermine protections for threatened plants and animals. Led by Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, the lawmakers asked the administration to reject the many proposals that undermine the Endangered Species Act, including those weakening or blocking protections for specific imperiled species.
WASHINGTON -- A district court judge on Monday dismissed four corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and his donor Salomon Melgen, but denied motions to toss out other charges including, notably, the senator’s solicitation of contributions for a super PAC.
Lawyers for the senator had asked the court to dismiss charges related to Menendez’s solicitation of $700,000 from Melgen for Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC run by former aides to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that made independent expenditures to support Menendez’s 2012 reelection.
The basis for dismissal offered by Menendez’s lawyers were the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United and 2013 McCutcheon decisions. Those two cases redefined corruption as only explicit bribery, excluding influence and access. The senator’s lawyers argued that this redefinition of corruption and Citizens United’s declaration that independent expenditures “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption” provided freedom of speech protections for all “efforts to influence and obtain access to elected officials,” including any campaign contribution.
Judge William Walls disagreed, ruling that the charges related to the super PAC contributions made by a corporation run by Melgen and solicited by Menendez would stand. In his opinion, Walls writes that “the Constitution does not protect an attempt to influence a public official’s acts through improper means.” (Read Walls' decision here.)
While Citizens United may state that independent expenditures cannot lead to corruption, bribery statutes view the super PAC contributions made and their value in different, subjective terms.
“Notwithstanding the statement in Citizens United that independent expenditures have no actual value to candidates, a jury could find that Defendant Menendez placed value, albeit subjective, on the earmarked donations given to Majority PAC by Melgen,” Walls writes.
He goes to write, “Even if contributions to Majority PAC had no objective value to Menendez, they unquestionably had value to Majority PAC as an entity, and [the federal bribery statute] criminalizes corruptly seeking anything of value, even for another person or entity, in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act.”
Both California's air-pollution regulator and the EPA ordered Volkswagen to investigate and fix the problem in May 2014, and the company said it had worked on a software patch. Once again, the cars performed well in testing. And once again, real-world performance didn't match up. At that point, regulators started grilling Volkswagen's engineers about the discrepancy, and the company eventually cracked, admitting the existence of these defeat devices, which had been carefully hidden in the software code. Hence the scandal.
The two candidates currently attracting the most attention in the American presidential primaries seem to be polar opposites. First, there's self-declared socialist Bernie Sanders, who can pack entire arenas with as many as 20,000 supporters. And then there's a man who claims to possess $10 billion, Donald Trump, who is leading in the broad field of Republicans. The two do, however, have one thing in common: They reject the US campaign finance system. One out of conviction; the other because he has the resources to finance his own campaign.
But while the sense of an ending can draw out people’s finest selves, it can also, new psychological research suggests, bring out their darker side. This study concludes that, as people get closer to finishing an activity, they become more and more likely to deliberately deceive others for their own benefit. And they do this, the research shows, because they anticipate regretting a missed opportunity to cheat the system.
In 2014, there were 91,147 domestic violence victims in our state. Of those, more than 26,000 victims were located in Wayne County. There's no doubt that Michigan has a domestic violence epidemic on its hands.
To make matters worse, our laws and sentencing guidelines haven’t been updated in years. Once considered a leader in domestic violence protections, our state has now fallen significantly behind the rest of the country. Michigan has lagged behind long enough.
Screw the celebration. New Orleans hasn’t “come back.” That is, there are still the Bourbon Street bars serving “Hurricanes” to sloshed tourists and Mardi Gras when white Americans can catch trinkets from floats floating over the ghosts of the drowned.
New Orleans is back to 79% of its pre-flood population. Why am I not cheering? Because the original residents—that is, the majority of the pre-flood Black residents—are still wandering inAmerica’s cruel economic desert.
And the pols of Louisiana love it. Louisiana had a Democratic governor. The purge of the voter rolls by flood has changed that forever.
ost politically active Americans are aware of the massive amounts of money spent on political campaigns. And most are also aware that corporate dollars, which fund so-called superPACs (political action committees), give hundreds of millions every election cycle.
In fact, according to a new study by the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for more transparent, open government, American corporations spent around $5.8 billion on elections between 2007 and 2012.
If that sounds like a big number – and it is – wait until you see what American corporations got in return.
Corporate investment in political campaigns pays big dividends
According to the foundation, corporations reaped nearly $4.4 trillion in returns for their investments.
The foundation looked at “influence and its potential results on federal decision makers” for six years – three before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and three years after the ruling. The study focused on the records of 200 for-profit corporations and companies that had active PACs and lobbyists.
“Their investment was enormous,” the report, titled, “Fixed Fortunes: Biggest corporate political interests spend billions, get trillions,” said.
In the 1960s, the Lyndon Johnson administration launched an official War on Poverty. Needless to say, poverty has emerged victorious. The noble and necessary aim of poverty reduction might have helped millions of people create lives of decency and dignity, and it might have helped America assimilate into the developed world as a fiscally responsible and morally honorable nation. But since they fail to widen the profit margin of the corporate class running America’s political system, poverty reduction programs are basically doomed.
As poverty worsens and spreads, with 25 million Americans constituting the working poor, poverty relief programs face elimination from austerity policymakers on the state and federal levels. In the absence of any war on poverty, America has demonstrated dedication and determination in its war on the poor. In a cruel combination of exploitative profiteering from poverty, and unapologetic hatred for the poor, state governments continue to pick the pockets of the impoverished, relegating low-income earners to a vicious cycle of punishment and recompense; life without parole in the poverty prison.
"Recent financial scandals highlight the devastating consequences of corruption. While much is known about individual immoral behavior, little is known about the collaborative roots of curruption. In a novel experimental paradigm, people could adhere to one of two competing moral norms: collaborate vs. be honest. Whereas collaborative settings may boost honesty due to increased observability, accountability, and reluctance to force others to become accomplices, we show that collaboration, particularly on equal terms, is inductive to the emergence of corruption. When partners' profits are not aligned, or when individuals complete a comparable task alone, corruption levels drop. These findings reveal a dark side of collaboration, suggesting that human cooperative tendencies, and not merely greed, take part in shaping corruption."
The collaborative roots of corruption Ori Weisela and Shaul Shalvi
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