Archive for September 24th, 2012

24/09/2012

Romney, Netanyahu – A Marriage of Morons

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*, TRANSCEND  Once upon a time, President Richard Nixon wanted to appoint a certain lawyer to the US Supreme Court. “But the man is a complete moron!” one senator exclaimed. “So what,” answered another, “There are a great many morons in the US, and they have a right to be represented in the court as much as any other sector of society.”

Mitt Romeny | Gage Skidmore | Wikimedia Commons

Benjamin Netanyahu | Wikimepedia

Perhaps the United Morons of America have a right to elect Mitt Romney president. But for the sake of the US and Israel, I hope that this will not happen.

Some people say that Israel is the 51st state of the Union. Some say that it is the first among the 51. Whatever, our lives – and perhaps our deaths – depend to a great extent on the man in the White House.

So, with all my misgivings (and I have a lot) about Barack Obama, I very much hope that he will be reelected

In his latest seizure of wisdom, Romney did not only disclose that 47% of Americans are parasites, but also that “the Palestinians” want to destroy Israel. According to him, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has no solution, it will go on forever.

I wonder where he got this last piece from.

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24/09/2012

The $870 Billion-a-year Business of Selling People, Arms, Drugs, Wildlife …

Human Wrongs Watch

With a turnover estimated to be around $870 billion a year, transnational organized crime is an enormous illegal business that is a real threat to peace, human security and prosperity. $870 billion is worth more than six times the amount of official development assistance and is comparable to 1.5 per cent of global GDP, or 7 per cent of the world’s goods exports, according to UN.

Photo: UNODC

Transnational organized crime encompasses virtually all serious profit-motivated criminal actions in which more than one country is involved. Such crimes include drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons, money-laundering, trafficking in firearms, counterfeit goods, wildlife and cultural property and even some forms of cybercrime, adds the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Generating an estimated $320 billion a year, drug trafficking is the most lucrative form of business for criminals. Counterfeiting, which generates $250 billion a year, is also a very high earner for organized criminal groups, UNODC reports.

Trafficking in persons brings in about $32 billion annually, while some estimates place the global value of smuggling of migrants at $7 billion per year, it adds.

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24/09/2012

Crisis: From Government Employee in Portugal to Cleaner in Switzerland

Human Wrongs Watch

As protests spread in southern Europe – especially in Greece, Spain and Portugal – against austerity measures, more and more people hit by the crisis are moving to northern countries in search of decent jobs. Public sector workers are not an exception.

Photo: ILO

By ILO*, Geneva – We meet Ana B. – a 50-year-old Portuguese woman – at a café in a Swiss city. Ana has been living in Switzerland for about six months. She moved here to work as a cleaner and caretaker. But Ana is no ordinary cleaner.
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She is a secretary at a government agency in the Portuguese city of Porto who took a one- year career break to come to Switzerland for a job that would allow her to pay her bills back home.
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“I am a single mother and my 20 year-old son is still at university. I am also still paying for the flat I bought in the outskirts of Porto a few years ago. My salary as a public sector worker in Portugal was only 700 euros a month. But with the economic crisis and the austerity measures that followed, salaries have been frozen…,” she said.
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When a Portuguese friend told her about a cleaning job in Switzerland and how much it paid, she quickly realized that she would more than double her salary by accepting the offer.
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