Archive for January 26th, 2021

26/01/2021

Inside Mar-a-Lago: The Secret History of Trump’s Florida Retreat

Human Wrongs Watch

By Seth Thévoz*

For many years, the elite private members’ club has sustained the outgoing US president. But is it all about to fall apart?

Donald Trump greets supporters at an airport in Lansing, Michigan, during the 2020 presidential election campaign | Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal/USA Today Network/Sipa USA/PA Images

21 January 2021 (openDemocracy)*— As Donald Trump leaves office, the place that has come to symbolise Brand Trump is Mar-a-Lago – his 20-acre, 128-room private members’ club in Palm Beach, Florida. With much of the Trump business empire heavily indebted and losing money, Mar-a-Lago is one of its few genuine cash cows.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the US taxpayer has paid $1m a day for each of the days Trump has spent at Mar-a-Lago.

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26/01/2021

Poor Lives Matter, But Less

Human Wrongs Watch

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jan 26 2021 (IPS)* – Current development fads fetishize data, ostensibly for ‘evidence-based policy-making’: if not measured, it will not matter. So, forget about getting financial resources for your work, programmes and projects, no matter how beneficial, significant or desperately needed.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Measure for measure
Agencies, funds, programmes and others lobby and fight for attention by showcasing their own policy agendas, ostensible achievements and potential. Many believe that the more indicators they get endorsed by the ‘international community’, the more financial support they can expect to secure.

Collecting enough national data to properly monitor progress on the Sustainable Development Goals is expensive. Data collection costs, typically borne by the countries themselves, have been estimated at minimally over three times total official development assistance (ODA).

Remember aid declined after the US-Soviet Cold War, and again following the 2008-9 global financial crisis. More recently, much more ODA is earmarked to ‘support’ private investments from donor countries.

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26/01/2021

Uncertain and Uneven Recovery Expected Following Unprecedented Labour Market Crisis – International Labour Organization

Human Wrongs Watch

The latest analysis of the labour market impact of COVID-19 by the ILO, records massive damage to working time and income, with prospects for a recovery in 2021 slow, uneven and uncertain unless early improvements are supported by human-centred recovery policies.

© Fahad Abdullah Kaizer / UN Women

GENEVA, 25 January 2021 (ILO)* – Tentative signs of recovery are emerging in global labour markets, following unprecedented disruption in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic , according to the latest report from the International Labour Organization.

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26/01/2021

Is There an American ‘Deep State’?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Richard Falk | Global Justice in the 21st Century – TRANSCEND Media Service*

When a society is deeply troubled, and governed in ways that seem under the influence of dark forces and disinformation becomes part of everyday life, it seems natural that all sorts of explanations will flourish.

Richard-Falk-e1506074478780

Richard Falk

Few of us can handle uncertainty, and so many affirm falsehoods for the sake of achieving a specious clarity about the unknowable, or at least convert uncertainty into congenial forms of certainty, a dynamic that explains the rise of cultist thinking in our time and the spread of extremist versions of religious teachings.

One variant of this phenomenon that has gained salience during the Trump presidency was supposedly pernicious role of the American ‘deep state.’

Trumpists complaining that unelected bureaucrats were subverting the great leader’s agenda while anti-Trumpists were disappointed that this source of influence didn’t find ways to remove such a political imposter given the damage he was doing national self-confidence and to the international rendering of the previously high end American brand. Some asked in exasperated tones ‘why is the deep state asleep?’

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26/01/2021

In Battle against Climate Change, Courts Become a New Frontier

Human Wrongs Watch

26 January 2021 (UNEP)*  — People, including children and indigenous communities, are increasingly turning to the courts to compel governments and businesses to respect and accelerate commitments on climate change.

2020-09-28T073552Z_1564156502_RC2J7J90XM5X_RTRMADP_3_CLIMATE-CHANGE-YOUTH-INDIA

REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis / 26 Jan 2021

According to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), published today [26 January 2021], the number of climate change litigation cases has surged in the last four years and now stands at 1,550 in 38 countries (39 including the courts of the European Union).

As of 1 July 2020, some 1,200 of these cases were filed in the United States and 350 in all other countries combined.

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