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"โอบามา"เยี่ยมผู้ประสบภัยแซนดี้ ผ่านไป 17 วันปชช.นับหมื่นยังไม่มีไฟฟ้าใช้

"โอบามา"เยี่ยมผู้ประสบภัยแซนดี้ ผ่านไป 17 วันปชช.นับหมื่นยังไม่มีไฟฟ้าใช้ | JR303 | Scoop.it

 

ผู้นำสหรัฐฯเดินทางไปเยี่ยมผู้ประสบภัยจากพายุเฮอริเคนแซนดี้ในย่านนครนิวยอร์ก ซึ่งยังคงไม่มีไฟฟ้าใช้มานานถึง 17 วันแล้ว หลังพายุแซนดี้เข้าถล่ม พร้อมประกาศให้ความช่วยเหลือเต็มที่ทั้งในระยะสั้นและระยะยาว

 

นายโอบามาเดินทางโดยเฮลิคอปเตอร์ไปยังย่านบรีซซี พอยต์ ในเขตควีนส์ ซึ่งบ้านเรือนกว่า 100 หลังถูกเพลิงไหม้ในช่วงที่พายุเข้า ผู้นำสหรัฐฯยังได้เยี่ยมประชาชนที่พักพิงอยู่ที่ศูนย์รับมือภัยฉุกเแนบนเกาะสตาเทน ซึ่งเป็นหนึ่งในพื้นที่ที่ได้รับความเสียหายรุนแรงจาสตอร์มเซิร์จ โดยเมื่อนับถึงวันอังคาร ยังคงมีประชาชนกว่า 25,000 คน ที่ยังคงไม่มีไฟฟ้าใช้ ซึ่งส่วนใหญ่อยู่ในรัฐนิวยอร์ก

 

ประธานาธิบดีบารัค โอบามา ได้ไปเยี่ยมชาวบ้านผู้ประสบภัยจากพายุเฮอริเคนแซนดี้ พร้อมทั้งพบปะกับบรรดาเจ้าหน้าที่และผู้ให้ความช่วยเหลือผู้ประสบภัยในขั้นแรก ที่นครนิวยอร์ก พร้อมกับประกาศว่า รัฐบาลกลางจะยังคงให้ความช่วยเหลือชาวบ้านในพื้นที่ประสบภัยต่อไป ทั้งในระยะสั้นและระยะยาว จนกว่าการฟื้นฟูจะเสร็จสิ้นสมบูรณ์

 

เขามอบหมายให้นายฌอน โดโนแวน รัฐมนตรีกระทรวงการพัฒนาชนบทและการเคหะ เป็นตัวกลางในการประสานให้ความช่วยเหลือประชาชน ทั้งนี้ พายุเฮอริเคนแซนดี้ ซึ่งพัดกระหน่ำพื้นที่ฝั่งตะวันออกของสหรัฐเมื่อปลายเดือนที่แล้ว ทำให้มีผู้เสียชีวิตทั้งในสหรัฐและแคนาดาอย่างน้อย 128 คน

 

ด้านนายแอนดริว คูโอโม ผู้ว่าการรัฐนิวยอร์ก ซึ่งร่วมเดินทางกับนายโอบามาด้วย เปิดเผยว่า เขาเตรียมยื่นขอเงินช่วยเหลือจากรัฐบาลกลาง จำนวน 30,000 ล้านดอลลาร์ ในการบูรณะฟื้นฟู ซึ่งรวมถึงการกู้กระบบไฟฟ้า และระบบการจัดสรรน้ำมันและพลังงานสำรอง

 

 

 

 

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How women voters became the kingmakers

How women voters became the kingmakers | JR303 | Scoop.it
Barack Obama won 55% of the female vote, meaning it was women who decided this year's presidential election. Politicians who refuse to take women's concerns and freedoms seriously are now on notice.

 

I suspect it may be dawning on a few white men as I write this that giving women the vote was a seriously bad idea.

Suddenly the constituency that used to rule the world — because they ruled America — are getting a sense of just what it feels like to be a minority group. And I don’t think they like it much.

According to numbers that are being crunched as I write, Barack Obama outpolled Mitt Romney in every group except older white men. Based on these admittedly preliminary figures, the President won 55% of the female vote, 93% of the African American vote and 71% of the Latino vote. He also outpolled Romney in every age group up to 45 and won the votes of most Americans who live in cities.

But if these early figures are correct, it is women who have really decided this election. That’s because they are 53% of the population, while blacks are 13%, Latinos 10% and Asians 3%. Even younger people only add up to 46% of the American population.

In other words, women voters in the US have become the kingmakers and let’s hope one day soon, the queenmakers.

Numbers being what they are, it is interesting to speculate how long it will take the religious Right in America to face up to the ramifications of this. Just think about it for a moment, the Republicans fielded two white male candidates in this election. Both were devoutly religious. Romney is a Mormon and his running mate Paul Ryan is an ultra conservative Catholic. Romney, who used to be pro-choice, fell meekly into line with the right-to-life dogma of the Republicans to seal the nomination, while Ryan took things a step further by being opposed to both abortion and contraception.

A few helpful Republican Senate candidates weighed in with some remarkable statements about abortion and r-pe. Todd Akin was clear that if a woman was “legitimately” r-ped her body would close down and expel the nasty man’s sperm. In other words, if you were r-ped and conceived, you clearly wanted it. Richard Mourdock chimed in with his pious belief that if a woman became pregnant after being r-ped then clearly that was what his God wanted. Both men lost their seats, Akin, most satisfyingly, to a female candidate; Claire McCaskill.

It also didn’t help their side of politics that a number of Republican dominated State Houses instituted draconian laws against abortion, including forced vaginal ultrasounds. Or that women in the US were forced to watch a bunch of blokes argue that women’s right to publicly subsidised contraception interfered with their religious rights — and get taken seriously! A spectacle that led university student Sandra Fluke to protest loudly about their lack of understanding about real women’s lives and experiences. Her protest in turn led to right wing shock jock Rush Limbaugh calling her a sl-t and a prost-tute and suggesting that if Americans had to pay for her contraceptives she should post videos of her s-xual encounters online. Way to win female votes, boys.

Such was the onslaught by the religious right on women and their freedom to control their own bodies and destiny, that some called it a “war against women”. This was pooh-poohed by conservative pundits, but the polling must have been showing the religious right something because Ann Romney was wheeled out in an attempt to woo the women’s vote. She kept trying to make the point that the economy was the most pressing issue for women. She was right, but somehow failed to make the connection that for most women the number of children they have directly impacts their prosperity. Could it be because she is married to a multi-millionaire?

Even here in Australia, uppity owners of uteruses were making older white blokes nervous. Tony Abbott trotted meekly along behind wife Margie as she attempted to reassure female voters that despite all appearances to the contrary Tony really was a feminist. When Gillard made her impassioned speech about s-xism and misogyny, some pundits shook their heads over the idiocy of her speech getting three million Youtube hits, while speeches on really important issues like — say — productivity went ignored. I wonder what they think the effect on productivity might be if we properly utilised the talents of 52% of the Australian population who, incidentally, just happen to be the best educated women in the world?

As long as those on the Right, most of whom older white men, refuse to believe that the issues that matter to women really matter, then expect more of the same. Reproductive rights are not theoretical to women. They are not something that only concern some marginalised group of not-very-nice people. They directly and viscerally affect women’s liberty and opportunity. Two things American voters in particular have been trained since childhood to hold dear. Perhaps that’s also why American women are much more likely to get off their bums and exercise the democratic right their great-grandmothers fought so hard to win for them.

Politicians all over the world who refuse to take women’s concerns and freedoms seriously are now on notice.

*This article was originally published at Women’s Agenda

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Experts detail 5 challenges for China

Experts detail 5 challenges for China | JR303 | Scoop.it
As China enters a new era with fresh leadership, experts examine five major challenges, ambitions and threats facing the world's most populous country.

 

Editor's note: What are the biggest challenges faced by China's new leaders? We put the question to five experts and here's what they said. Add your own ideas in the comments section below.

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Well that's that. After one week of mingling with elite Party loyalists, China's Communist leaders have wrapped up their 18th National Congress.

The next will be in five years time when the presumptive new president -- Xi Jinping -- delivers his thoughts on the challenges, ambitions and threats facing the world's most populous country.

Read our live blog for the latest on China's new leaders

His predecessor Hu Jintao fired a flare on the first day of the Congress about the threat of corruption and its power to potentially bring down China's Communist regime.

"If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state," he told delegates.

China's next leaders: Who's who

CNN asked five experts to explain what they see to be China's most pressing challenge. It's by no means a complete list, presented in no particular order.

Factional splits in China's fantasy 'all stars' lineup China's not expected to announce the top nine -- or seven -- members of the Politburo Standing Committee until Thursday but analysts have drawn clear splits between leading contenders.

1. Xi Jinping
2 Li Keqiang
3. Wang Qishan
4. Li Yuanchao
5. Liu Yunshan
6. Wang Yang
7. Zhang Dejiang
8. Yu Zhengsheng
9. Liu Yandong

1. Factional divisions

Plenty of analysis has accompanied this year's Congress as to the fine -- and not so fine -- lines that split the ideologies and loyalties of the members of the Politburo Standing Committee.

But will any fracture lines be enough to tilt the Party towards reform? China commentator Willy Lam weighs in, noting that "even before the birth of the People's Republic in 1949, factions within the party had fought over the future direction of the country."

The "struggle between two lines" during Mao's rule has morphed into divisions according to family ties to revolutionary leaders and guidance from powerful mentors.

"Since the early 1990s, three major factions have emerged within the party: the Shanghai faction led by ex-president Jiang Zemin, the Communist Youth League (CYL) faction led by President Hu Jintao, and the "Gang of Princelings" -- a reference to the offspring of party elders -- led by president-in-waiting Xi Jinping.

What's the potential for one to win out? Lam explains.

Analysts have been speculating about the final lineup of the Politburo Standing Committee. This is how it could look. CNN

2. More spending, less saving

In 2011, a team of researchers led by economist Li Gan started asking questions to compile the most comprehensive study so far of household wealth in China.

They found that the top 10% of income earners are sitting on most of the wealth.

The low savings rate of most Chinese households surveyed suggest they simply don't have the money to spend. To move toward a consumer-based economy, therefore, raising the income -- and spending -- levels for the poor is key.

Gan explains here what China needs to do.

3. Pouring water on disputes

Don't expect China to turn the other cheek when it comes to regional disputes, writes Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt from International Crisis Group.

"Beijing is keen to prevent the world from concluding that China has discarded the notion of a peaceful rise," Kleine-Ahlbrandt writes. She says China's going down the path of "reactive assertiveness."

One example is China's attitude in response to Japan's purchase of islands disputed by both countries in the East China Sea.

Find out whether Kleine-Ahlbrandt thinks the country's new leaders are likely to change tact.

4. Too many men

Faced with a surging population, China attempted to put the brakes on procreation in the late 1970s by implementing a controversial policy limiting couples in some areas to just one child.

Since then, a cultural bias towards male children has led to a skewed child sex ratio where millions of men, or "bare branches" face an uncertain future due to the lack of potential female partners, writes evolutionary biologist Rob Brooks.

"It would be difficult to overstate the urgent need for China to emulate South Korea in eliminating sex-biased abortion and neglect," Brooks writes.

Studies show, he says, what can happen if it doesn't.

5. Learning the three Rs

The legacy of China's powerhouse of cheap, labor-intensive exports is a natural environment tainted by the pollutants of economic growth.

Author Geoff Hiscock says securing the food, water and air security of China's 1.35 billion people is one of the leadership's biggest challenges.

"Beijing and other parts of northeastern China are already water-stressed, the air quality in inland mega-cities such as Chongqing and Chengdu is abysmal, farming land is being poisoned by toxic runoff from mining and industrial activities, acid rain blights large parts of south China, contagious disease is an ever-present risk among its livestock, and unscrupulous makers sell tainted foodstuffs," Hiscock writes.

So what can China do about it? More from Hiscock.

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