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Global News and Analysis

Made in Bangladesh: The Terror of Capitalism

Source: Counterpunch

Delhi.

On Wednesday, April 24, a day after Bangladeshi authorities asked the owners to evacuate their garment factory that employed almost three thousand workers, the building collapsed. The building, Rana Plaza, located in the Dhaka suburb of Savar, produced garments for the commodity chain that stretches from the cotton fields of South Asia through Bangladesh’s machines and workers to the retail houses in the Atlantic world. Famous name brands were stitched here, as are clothes that hang on the satanic shelves of Wal-Mart. Rescue workers were able to save two thousand people as of this writing, with confirmation that over three hundred are dead. The numbers for the latter are fated to rise. It is well worth mentioning that the death toll in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City of 1911 was one hundred and forty six. The death toll here is already twice that. This “accident” comes five months (November 24, 2012) after the Tazreen garment factory fire that killed at least one hundred and twelve workers. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Shooting at the Gurdwara: The Sense of White Supremacy

Source: Counterpunch

Yesterday morning the orgies of the lone gunman took hold in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a town in the dragnet of Milwaukee. He targeted a Gurdwara, the religious home of the local Sikh community. The gunman entered the Gurdwara, and as if in mimicry of the school shootings, stalked the worshippers in the halls of the 17,000 square foot “Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.” Police engaged the gunman, who wounded at least one officer. The gunman killed at least seven Sikhs, wounding many more. He was then killed. A few hours after the shooting Ven Boba Ri, a committee member of the Gurdwara told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “It’s pretty much a hate crime. It’s not an insider.” read more

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Global News and Analysis

The Philosophy Behind “Occupy Wall Street”

Source: Counterpunch

“Speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation. When the capital development of a country becomes a byproduct of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.”

–  John Maynard Keynes, 1936.

The International Monetary Fund’s Global Financial Stability Report is typically very sober in its assessment of the world. The current report, released on September 21, warns that the world economy is entering a “danger zone.” The IMF downgrades its estimate for global growth from an already low 4.3 per cent  to 4 per cent , with U. S. growth cut from 2.7 per cent  to 1.8 per cent . “For the first time since the October 2008 Global Financial Stability Report, risks to global financial stability have increased, signaling a partial reversal in progress made over the past three years.” In other words, all the measures taken to stem the hemorrhage caused by the global credit crisis of 2008 onward have run their course, and we are back to the day when Lehman’s shutters came down. read more

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Global News and Analysis

The Libyan Miscalculation

Source: Counterpunch

1. Partitions.

NATO miscalculates and thrice fires on the Benghazi rebels. The NATO commanders blame this on a confused frontline. It is hard to distinguish, they say, between the Libyan rebels from the Libyan regulars. Libya is effectively partitioned between the west and the east.

Qaddafi remains in command of the west. His son, Saif-al-Islam told the BBC that his family is not keen on an exit to Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe or Venezuela. Saif, and his brother Saadi, have made an offer that their father might consider stepping down from a position he claims not to hold, as long as the sons can remain in some form of authority (Qaddafi pere conducted the remarkable feat ofcentralization of power in the name of de-centralization). Former US Congressman Curt Weldon apparently told Qaddafi that he might be made honorary chairman of the African Union, and that his sons might be permitted to run for office in a future Libyan election. The Benghazi rebels are aghast. This is not what they hoped for. read more

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Globalism

Bad Aid: Throw Your Arms Around the World

In December 1984, I walked into the HMV store on London's Oxford Street to spend a little discretionary money on an LP. Other albums drew me, but one had an advantage. It combined the talents of all the major "Top of the Pops" singers onto one song. Given the standards of British pop at the time (leaving aside Scritti Politti's "Jacques Derrida" and perhaps the Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy"), the diminishing marginal returns at the cash register were held in check with only one purchase. It had to be Bob Geldof's Do They Know It's Christmas?