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World Bank recommends fewer regulations protecting workers

Source: The Guardian

The World Bank is proposing lower minimum wages and greater hiring and firing powers for employers as part of a wide-ranging deregulation of labour markets deemed necessary to prepare countries for the changing nature of work.

A working draft of the bank’s flagship World Development Report – which will urge policy action from governments when it comes out in the autumn – says less “burdensome” regulations are needed so that firms can hire workers at lower cost. The controversial recommendations, which are aimed mainly at developing countries, have alarmed groups representing labour, which say they have so far been frozen out of the Bank’s consultation process. read more

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Lula May Be in Jail, but Brazil’s Occupy Movement Won’t Let Hope Die

Source: The Nation

On April 7, former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stood before thousands of supporters in the São Paulo suburb of São Bernardo do Campo and, in an emotional, hourlong speech, announced that he would be turning himself in to begin a 12-year prison sentence for corruption.

Tears flowed. The crowed called for him to resist. Nineteen hours before, Lula had defied an order to turn himself in. Many of the thousands there had spent the past two days at the ABC Metalworkers Union building, where Lula was staying, ready to defend him. read more

Life in the Central Havana barrio spills out on the sidewalks and streets. Photo credit: Daniel Winthrop

Views from a Changing Cuba as Raúl Castro Steps Down

As Cuban President Raúl Castro stepped down from office today, Cuba is expected to enter a period of dramatic change. Eager to witness the final days of the nearly six decades of Castro rule in Cuba, my son and I recently visited the island nation. We were provided a view of a communist country marked by profound continuities and changes in Cuban culture, the arts, and technology.