Wed, 28 Sep 2022 22:14:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 32 32 The stock market is bottoming out. This Democrat thinks her party saved the economy. Wed, 28 Sep 2022 21:38:03 +0000

Amid historically high inflation and a market sell-off, Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes (Conn.) has no regrets about the way her party has governed for the past two years.

Hayes, who is in a hotly contested re-election race against Republican George Logan, has bragged about the success of the nearly $2 trillion US bailout widely credited with stoking inflation. In an extensive interview with Connecticut Public Radio on Tuesday, Hayes was pressed on whether the size of the bill — at nearly $2 trillion — was too big. Hayes responded with a question of her own: “Who would you leave behind?”

The bailout, Hayes said, “stabilized the economy.” On the same day Hayes made the comments, the S&P 500 hit a low for the year and the Dow Jones Industrial Average entered bearish territory.

Hayes’ interview reveals the struggle Democrats face when discussing the economy, an issue considered most important by voters in a myriad of surveys. But Hayes has also taken a different course than some other Democrats in refraining from attacking President Joe Biden or expressing doubts about the wisdom of his party’s unprecedented spending spree. Some Democrats in close races, like Cheri Beasley (D., NC) and Mandela Barnes (D., Wis.), have avoided appearing with Biden on the campaign trail. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D., NH) said if re-elected she will “continue to stand up to the Biden administration.”

Later in the interview, Hayes disputed that the US economy is in recession, despite traditional indicators saying otherwise. Instead, Hayes said, “in some areas [we] are back to pre-pandemic strength.”

“In some areas, improvements are needed, but I think we should all be focused on the solution,” Hayes said in the interview before challenging the idea that the Democratic Party’s policies against COVID-19 were shutting down the economy. ‘economy. “Right now, I think the steps that are being taken are helping us with the fastest recovery we’ve ever seen.”

Hayes has remained loyal to her fellow Democrats, despite running in a D+2 race that is a major target for Republicans. During a meeting with teachers’ union leaders in May, Hayes said she was “incredibly blessed” and “incredibly privileged” to serve under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Those words were a reversal of Hayes’ stance in 2018, when she promised she would not support Pelosi’s latest bid for House leadership. Hayes ultimately declared a vote against Pelosi to be “a vote for Republicans.”

Hayes will face Logan in November. Outside Republican groups, such as the Congressional Leadership Fund, spend heavily on the race.

CLF released two TV ads last month, including one highlighting Logan’s parents’ trip from Guatemala to the United States. The other features a photo of Hayes with Pelosi and team members Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., NY) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.). Hayes appeared on the cover of rolling stone with Omar and Cortez in 2019.

Seattle author Angela Garbes explores mothering as social change Wed, 28 Sep 2022 12:11:36 +0000

I am so proud of Angela Garbes, a Filipina American residing in South Seattle. She demonstrates the freedom and courage to write and speak publicly about the multiple dimensions of women’s lives, dimensions hitherto passed over in silence. The first part of Essential Work is a history of mothering in the United States and the second explores mothering as social change.

The main dimension is that mothering is essential work. Garbes categorically states that reproductive labor has sustained the productive labor force for generations. Yet it’s not just silenced; it is not recognized; it is unseen. Mothering is caregiving done primarily by women and especially women of color who are in the background, if at all. With the appearance of the Covid in 2020, adults had to recognize the primordial importance of the work of mothering, of taking care of people. All other labor work cannot take place without first dealing with people.

Another dimension revealed is the privilege of white women to enter graduate and vocational schools and traditionally white male professions on the backs of paid and unpaid women of color. At the same time, Garbes readily acknowledges that as a middle-class author with a supportive extended family, she herself is privileged.

On a personal level, she reveals the price hard-working immigrants, including her parents who were professional caregivers in their home country, paid to achieve the American dream of middle-class status and house in a nice neighborhood. Such sacrifices are not easily recognized or talked about by his parents or loved ones.

Garbes weaves historical facts and contexts from literature and social science ranging from climate change and immigration to employment discrimination and self-consciousness. For example, she shows how the American dream for Filipinos and other former colonized populations is a direct result of US imperialism. In particular, the American-founded Philippine health care system has helped recruit Filipino doctors, nurses, and other health care providers to staff the American health care system since the 1960s. Often, these caregivers are relegated overtime and lower wages. She notes that the impetus for writing Essential Work was the Covid statistic in 2021 that FilipinoAmericans countedfor 4 percentof thenursesin theUnited States butabout 25percentofcovid-19 deaths amongnurses.

It reminds us of the earlier efforts of the 20e century to improve the lives of social workers and mothers like the National Welfare Rights Organization in 1966 whose leaders were predominantly black women, including Johnnie Tillmon.

The section on mothering as social change is a witty open book that captures the reality, sometimes the dilemma, of women who want to have it all. In the time of Covid, how do you balance being a college-educated middle-aged American who identifies as more than a wife and mother? How can one also be a productive worker (as opposed to reproductive) and an individual with needs and wants? Garbes tackles this question brilliantly by first looking at his daughters and imagining the kind of adults and engaged citizens they will be. She reflects, “My natural tendency is to explain myself, to overcompensate for the way I was brought up. But if I can help my girls adjust to their bodies, eventually I won’t have to explain so much. I hope I have prepared them to trust what they feel and know in their guts and bones. She goes on to say, “Caring and mothering shape the emotional expression and resilience of the next generation of adults.” (p.155)

Then she looks at herself and says out loud and in detail what the other woman is thinking in silence – mothering as pleasure, sex as pleasure, the pursuit of happiness. She awakens to the beauty and healing power of the natural world. She is introduced to hiking by a boyfriend who later becomes her husband. As they grow together in parenthood, she hikes with Will and their children as a family but also goes alone as a couple, as partners. She shares the trials and joys of motherhood with other parents and caregivers. In doing so, she deepens an awareness of mothering as interdependence. Not only does it take a whole village to raise a child. It takes an entire society to come together for the greater good. Her concluding paragraph is: “Committing to witnessing, to ‘just’ showing up: mothering, fathering, parenting, leading and following, articulating what you know and admitting what you don’t know, getting it right, doing mistakes, recover from them. everything and continue with that. How is all this anything other than unequivocal? Being part of the humility and heroism, the smallest details that make up a child’s great and wonderful life, is our duty of care.

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ESRC Social Science Festival 2022 Wed, 28 Sep 2022 12:08:47 +0000

Experts from the University of Birmingham will unpack this phenomenon as part of this year’s Social Science Festival, which takes place from 22n/a October – 13e November 2022.

This year’s program focuses on ‘My Local Area’, with various topics including the future of Britain’s high street, sexuality and race in Birmingham and misogyny in politics.

The festival offers an ambitious program of free physical and virtual events, organized by the University of Birmingham and supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The public is invited to take an active role in discussions about how people feel connected to their local areas and communities and how education, advocacy and policy development can support social change .

The flagship event of the Festival will be an evening of music and conferences around the peaky blinders phenomenon, and the TV series’ impact on Birmingham. From the lives of working-class Brummies in the interwar period to the endearing accent, the show has portrayed life in Birmingham in new ways for new audiences. Speakers including local historian and writer Carl Chinnwill explore how close this is to the reality of people living in Birmingham at the time and what effect the show had on the city and region.

This year’s festival truly showcases the best of the University’s social science research, curriculum upgrading and engagement with net-zero in the future of adult social care and Main Street, there truly is an event for everyone.

Professor Richard Black, Director of the College of Social Sciences

After a tumultuous year of politics, leadership changes, scandals and political change, the Festival will also host several events dealing with political and social change, misogyny in politics, post-Brexit migration and citizenshipand where leveling policies will benefit most.

With events focusing on topics such as sexuality and race in Birmingham, relationships and sex education for young people, the link between education and crime, support local shopping streetsand much more, this year’s festival has something for everyone.

The festival is part of the nationwide ESRC Festival of Social Sciences which highlights the impact of pioneering social, economic and political research on everyday life.

Professor Richard Black, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham, said: “As a global institution with strong roots in the city-region of Birmingham, it is great to see the festival focus on ‘My local area’. This year’s festival truly showcases the best in academic social science research, curricula, and engagement with net-zero in the future of adult social care and high street, there’s truly an event for everyone.”

Texas abortion funds seek court order to resume work Tue, 27 Sep 2022 22:19:21 +0000 Leaders of Texas’ largest abortion funds implored a federal judge on Tuesday to grant them permission to resume assistance to people seeking abortions in states where the procedure is legal.

The funds filed the class action lawsuit in August to stop state and local prosecutors from prosecuting them if they get back to work by offering Texans funding and support for travel, lodging, meals and childcare. children, among other expenses incurred while obtaining abortions. On Tuesday, they sought to temporarily block any potential lawsuits until the case is decided.

READ ALSO: Texas abortion funds freeze indefinitely as Supreme Court shakes landscape

The groups halted abortion support operations in June after the Supreme Court issued its ruling this summer reversing federal protections for the procedure. The decision also caused clinics across the state to stop providing abortion services.

The legal battle has immense implications for thousands of Texans seeking abortions, who will inevitably incur higher costs as they depend on other states due to Texas’ near-total abortion ban. Studies show that the vast majority of pregnant women have abortions for financial reasons, and most of those who get abortions are low-income people of color.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, along with a number of county and district attorneys charged with enforcing state abortion bans. Some local prosecutors in liberal-leaning counties have pledged not to prosecute, while others in redder counties have said they will.

Plaintiffs point to a “myriad of threats” of lawsuits by the Attorney General “and his associates,” including social media posts, statements, and cease-and-desist letters sent by members of the conservative Texas Conservative Party Freedom Caucus to businesses.

Caucus member and Republican Deer Park state Rep. Briscoe Cain also sent similar letters to Texas abortion funds, including the complaining organizations, saying their donors, employees and volunteers are subject to prosecution. under pre-Roe laws, according to the suit.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled in July that the state’s pre-Roe laws, which prohibit “(providing) the means to procure an abortion,” are enforceable.

The plaintiffs also cited an advisory issued by Paxton just hours after the announcement of the Dobbs decision that said pre-Roe laws could be enforced immediately by district and county attorneys.

The plaintiffs had tried to subpoena Paxton to appear in court on Tuesday, but he evaded their attempts to serve him, according to court documents. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman granted Paxton’s motion to quash the subpoena. The abortion funds had hoped to question Paxton about his social media posts, which conflict with court documents in which state attorneys suggested no such lawsuit was imminent.

Under Texas trigger law, nearly all abortions from conception are prohibited, with rare exceptions for pregnant women at risk of death or “substantial impairment.” Pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, or with severe fetal abnormalities, are not exempt. The law provides penalties for first or second degree felonies and civil penalties of at least $100,000.

A state law passed in 2021, Senate Bill 8, also allows private citizens to sue for damages of at least $10,000 against a physician or other person who “aids or abets “an abortion after six weeks of gestation, before most know they are pregnant.

The abortion funds claim in their lawsuit that charitable donations are a protected form of freedom of speech and association under the First Amendment, but the possibility of debilitating litigation has chilled their exercise of those rights. They say it has also deterred some donors from giving freely to the group.

“Despite their strong desires and commitment to help their fellow Texans, Plaintiffs will not be able to safely return to their prior operations until it is clear that Defendants have no authority to sue Plaintiffs. or seek civil penalties from them for their constitutionally protected behavior,” they state in the suit.

Meanwhile, state attorneys asked abortion fund leaders a series of questions aimed at proving that their organizations were still able to express their freedom of speech by giving background information, as well as fundraising information for their own and state-based groups like them.

Anna Rupani, executive director of Fund Texas Choice, one of the complainant organizations, said on Tuesday that her organization had gone from being able to help about 90% of the hundreds of callers to its hotline to only around 30-40% since then. the past SB 8. .

Support has also become more expensive to provide because the vast majority of callers since the ruling have to go out of state to get the procedure, she said. Before the law, only about a third of callers had to cross state lines.

After the Supreme Court released its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last June suspended its funding for abortion logistics support indefinitely and referred callers broadly to existing resources, without naming clinics or other details. Rumani said the decision was specifically motivated by fear of civil and criminal charges.

If the organization is unable to resume, Rumani said the outcome would be “catastrophic”.

“Our staff here need to provide practical support and support this mission of the organization…so not being able to fulfill this mission would be catastrophic,” she said, adding that it could eventually lead to the closure of the group.

Rosann Mariappuram, executive director of Jane’s Due Process, a group that provides legal support to minors wishing to have an abortion without parental support, said she needed to train her staff on what to do if arrested. Mariappuram said at least one employee quit on the day of the Dobbs ruling, citing concerns about uncertain legality.

State attorneys pushed back against plaintiffs’ complaints that they had lost donors by asking whether the Dobbs decision had simultaneously caused an increase in donations, which some executives have acknowledged.

They also emphasized the plaintiffs’ concerns that they could be prosecuted under state anti-abortion laws, stating that the Republicans making these threats are not prosecutors and reiterating that Paxton does not have the power. to unilaterally pursue criminal proceedings.

During one such exchange, Assistant Attorney General Lief Olson asked, “You weren’t targeted by anyone with enforcement power?”

“Not to my knowledge,” testified Bridget Schilling, board member of the Clinic Access Support Network, a Houston-based abortion fund.

Other testimonies highlighted the lingering uncertainty that hangs over even the groups’ ongoing activities. A lawyer for the plaintiffs asked Mariappuram if she was sure that the background information provided by Jane’s Due Process would prevent her from taking legal action.

“No, I’m not, and I care about it every day,” she said.

Jeremy Blackman contributed reporting.

Three Threats to American Democracy and Their Social Roots Tue, 27 Sep 2022 11:09:36 +0000

Lachelier is the founder of life learninga non-profit laboratory dedicated to innovative education and civic engagement.

Democracy in America faces three existential threats: electoral subversion, a growing disconnect between politics and public opinion, and a long-standing rift between democracy and everyday American life.

On September 19, Joseph Kahn, editor of the New York Times, announced that some of the Times’ top reporters were working to “expose the cancers that are eating away at democracy, as well as joining in the search for solutions.” Kahn pointed to two threats to American democracy that Times reporters regard as the most important: “first, a movement within the Republican Party that refuses to accept electoral defeat; and, second, a growing disconnect between the public opinion and governmental power”.

The first threat, as documented by numerous reporters at The Times and other generally reliable news sources, includes not only denials of election defeat, despite compelling evidence, but efforts to make it harder to vote. and to elect state and local election officials who can overturn the popular vote.

The second threat saliently includes growing disconnects between American public opinion and developments in all three branches of government:

  • US presidential elections, in which two of the last four presidents – George W. Bush and Donald Trump, were elected via the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote.
  • A congressional process, in which a minority of lawmakers, Democrats and/or Republicans, can block gun control, climate change action, and campaign finance transparency, among other grassroots laws.
  • The new conservative majority on the Supreme Court, whose recent rulings on abortion, gun control and other issues run counter to public opinion.

The third threat, which Kahn does not mention, is older and its persistence may explain the relative lack of attention from journalists, who generally focus on what is new. As Kahn notes, “[o]Throughout history, the American government has tended to become more democratic, through women’s suffrage, civil rights laws, directly elected senators and more.” Yet the direct election of senators, women’s suffrage, protection of civil rights and other reforms have legally but not so much socially expanded democracy:

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  1. In schools, STEM education has crowded out civic education, to the detriment of students’ civic knowledge and skills. Among other issues, almost no state requires community service, let alone integrate service with classroom learning in a sustainable way that not only nurtures young people’s civic knowledge, but also skills and agency.
  2. In the workplace, most employees have little or no voice in decision-making, which deprives them of routine practice in a democracy. Despite the commendable efforts of organizations such as the AFL-CIO and the Democracy Collaborative and the growing popularity of unions, organized labor (which, among other things, helps workers practice workplace democracy) is in general decline in the less since the 1970s.
  3. Outside of school and work, Americans spend far more time in their hobbies, especially watching TV, but also surfing social media or playing video games, than they do in civic associations to address issues that directly or indirectly affect them, from street crime and potholes, to stagnating incomes and climate change.
  4. Finally, and especially given the expected continued growth of aging and retired populations, too few seniors regularly volunteer with civic organizations that could give them meaning while countering growing social isolation, loneliness and deterioration of health as they age.

For most Americans, therefore, democracy is more a punctuation than a part of their daily lives: a news flash on a phone or television, a fleeting and often frustrating conversation, or a periodic vote for someone someone else do something. Yet there is considerable evidence that:

  1. Youth and adults who receive sustained and engaging civic education increase their political knowledge, participation, and sense of power or self-efficacy.
  2. Workers who have union representation not only enjoy better wages and benefits, they reduce wage inequality (and thus, to some extent, political inequality), limit voting-limiting laws, vote more, and encourage others to vote more than non-unionized workers.
  3. People, including older adults, who volunteer can experience a variety of benefits, including improved skills and social connections, physical and psychological well-being, protection against cognitive aging, lower mortality and greater trust in the institutions with which they engage. Not to mention the often significant benefits for the thousands of organizations and millions of individuals who are the beneficiaries of this volunteerism.

This evidence, consistent with research accumulating in support of contact theory, suggests that citizens who are more connected, especially across social differences, are more likely to trust and cooperate with each other. , and to trust the institutions through which they connect and collaborate. Unfortunately, as Kahn acknowledges, Americans have sorted themselves and been sorted by state politicians into more socially and politically homogeneous communities (increasingly conservative rural areas, increasingly liberal urban areas, with polarizing consequences for more urban states versus more rural states). This sorting, along with the polarizing shifts in our media, facilitates mistrust and hatred of those who don’t look like us, especially from a safe distance, online or in person. Our social sorting and polarizing media also make it easier to imagine that the other side is an existential threat, that they are rigging elections, and that we must defend our way of life, even at the cost of democracy.

The divide between democracy and everyday American life at school, work, play, and retirement is in large measure a personal and institutional failure to bring us together across these lines of difference. Personally, we can pay lip service to diversity, but tend to choose socially and/or economically homogeneous friends, partners and neighborhoods.

Institutionally, we call for national debates but fail to adequately fund nonprofits and the media that can build a broad and deep civil discourse infrastructure across our country. At the root of our democratic ills are these social disconnects. No amount of rhetorical calls to “come together”, “deliberate” or “be civil” will help without a sustained and systematic investment of money, time and effort to build social infrastructures of citizen engagement in all areas of life.

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Town hall jobs for the unemployed in Pilar de la Horadada (Alicante) Sun, 25 Sep 2022 14:19:12 +0000 NEW EMPLOYEES: the mayor of Pilar and the councilor for employment welcome the new members of staff Photo credit: town hall of Pilar de la Horada

The town hall of PILAR DE LA HORADADA has added eight previously unemployed residents to its payroll.

Thanks to European subsidies made available by the employment service of the regional government, LABORA, the town hall has hired three new employees under the age of 30 who will occupy the positions of administrative assistant, concierge and leisure animator respectively. .

Of the five over 30, four will be administrative assistants and another janitor.

All are under 12 month contract.

The grants of €54,384 and €98,000 to cover salaries and social security payments were co-funded by the EU Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund respectively.

“We are very happy to have you on our staff, as we are convinced that an increase in the number of employees will lead to an improvement in all the operations of the town hall,” said the mayor of Pilar, Jose Maria Perez Sanchez, in greeting the new recruit.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article, don’t forget to come back and check the Euro Weekly News website for all your up to date local and international news and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram .

Human price of shrinking forests: Odisha tops elephant-inflicted casualties Sun, 25 Sep 2022 04:53:48 +0000 House ” National ” Human price of shrinking forests: Odisha tops elephant-inflicted casualties

By Biswa Bhusan Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar, Sep 25 (SocialNews.XYZ) There appears to be no end to the ongoing human-animal conflict in Odisha as the eastern state has reported the highest number of human casualties in elephant attacks over the past three years.

As many as 1,578 people died in elephant attacks in India between 2019-20 and 2021-22, with the highest 322 fatalities reported in Odisha, according to a statement from the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of the Union, Bhupender Yadav, in Parliament during its last session.

While 117 people were killed in elephant attacks in 2019-2020, 93 such deaths were reported in 2020-21 and another 112 deaths in 2021-22.

At the same time, the state has also witnessed the death of wild elephants due to various reasons including poaching, electrocution, train accidents, road accidents, etc.

Official data showed that at least 245 elephants died in Odisha during the same period from 2019-20 to 2021-22. While 82 elephants died in 2019-20, another 77 jumbo deaths were reported in 2020-21. Additionally, the number of fatalities rose to 86 in 2021-22.

Of the 245 jumbo fatalities in the past three years, 35 fatalities were reported in Dhenkanal forest division, followed by mineral-rich Keonjhar division with 21 fatalities and Angul with 12 fatalities.

Over the past three years, Deogarh and Athmallik Forestry Divisions have reported 11 elephant deaths each, while 10 such deaths have been reported in Balasore, Kalahandi (south) and Wildlife Division. the division of Khurda.

Over the last decade (2012-13 to 2021-22), Odisha reported 784 elephant deaths, of which 36 jumbos died in accidents while 34 were killed by poachers and others for various reasons. Of 36 accidental deaths, 30 died in train accidents, 6 in road accidents.

Besides these deaths, in June and July, Odisha police found the bones and carcasses of five elephants, including a killer, from the Athagarh forest in Cuttack district.

These figures indicate the severity of the human-elephant conflict in the state. Apart from human casualties, elephants also destroy homes and crops of people residing near elephant dwellings.

Human-elephant conflict is increasing in Odisha mainly due to population growth, forest degradation and human behavior, said Jaya Krishna Panigrahi, secretary of the Orissa Environmental Society, a voluntary organization based in Odisha. works for the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity.

“We have forests, but their quality has deteriorated for various reasons. There is also a lack of food and water inside the forests, which forces jumbos to go out to human dwellings,” said he declared.

In addition, the links between forest areas for the movement of wild animals have also been disconnected, Panigrahi said.

To remedy the situation, the conservationist said: “We need to make sure elephants get everything they need from the forests and people near forest areas need to be motivated to grow other crops and learn how to behave with wild elephants because they too must survive.”

Informing about the various measures taken by the state government for the conservation and protection of wild elephants, Odisha’s Minister of Forestry, Pradip Amt, in a written response to the assembly on July 19, said that 14 corridors elephants and three elephant conservation projects had been undertaken. to avoid the death of the elephants.

The state government has dug ponds to provide drinking water for the elephants. At least 402 ponds have been dug and 426 ponds restored over the past three years.

According to the response, 343 anti-poaching squads comprising 1,715 personnel have been deployed in strategic locations to prevent poaching of elephants. Drones and watchtowers are used to maintain strict vigilance over elephant habitats, their movements and the movements of poachers.

The state has set up a crime cell under the Criminal Branch Special Task Force (STF) to investigate and take action in major cases.

For the safe passage of wild animals, it has been proposed to build animal overpass or underpass on the railway line at 35 places.

In addition, underpasses have been proposed at 49 locations on various highways, on which work has been completed at 11 locations and is in progress at 15 other locations. The state has increased the amount of compensation to Rs 4 lakh from Rs 3 lakh for death in a wild animal attack.

Source: IANS

Human price of shrinking forests: Odisha tops elephant-inflicted casualties

About Gopi

Gopi Adusumilli is a programmer. He is editor of SocialNews.XYZ and president of AGK Fire Inc.

He enjoys designing websites, developing mobile apps and publishing news articles from various authenticated news sources.

As for writing, he enjoys writing about current world politics and Indian movies. His future plans include developing SocialNews.XYZ into a news website that has no bias or judgment towards any.

He can be reached at

Two pension funds leave Mark Carney’s Green Alliance Sun, 25 Sep 2022 04:00:35 +0000

Pension funds Cbus Super and Bundespensionskasse have become the first institutions to leave a financial alliance to fight climate change led by former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

Australia’s Cbus left the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance in recent months citing resource issues, while Austria’s Bundespensionskasse left the Paris Aligned Asset Owners group this year, also due to a lack of internal resources, a said the PAAO. The coalitions are part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (Gfanz) which was launched to much fanfare last year.

Members of the seven subgroups under the Gfanz umbrella have to comply with complex time and staff-consuming data tracking and reporting requirements, which alliance banks have also raised as a concern. .

Financial institutions also face a growing list of environmental disclosure requirements imposed by regulators around the world.

A $70 billion fund Cbus, which joined the NZAOA in 2020, said it left the alliance to “focus our resources on our internal climate change activities”, adding that it had not changed its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Bundespensionskasse, a €1.3 billion fund, declined to comment on why it left the alliance, but said its “long-term goal is a climate-neutral investment approach”. The group has pledged to achieve net zero emissions on all of its assets under management by 2040. Gfanz declined to comment.

One of Gfanz’s subgroups, the Net Zero Investment Consultants Initiative which launched with 12 members a year ago, did not disclose whether any companies had left.

The loss of members is likely to add to growing pressure on Gfanz, which is designed to bring together as many financial institutions as possible and encourage climate action.

Major US banks have threatened to quit the alliance, fearing the commitments could expose them to legal challenges, the FT reported last week.

Objections have centered largely on fears that a coordinated restriction of support to the fossil fuel sector could breach competition law. Such antitrust concerns prompted the United Nations Race to Zero initiative – which sets standards for Gfanz membership – to issue revised guidelines last Friday, removing a stipulation that “no new coal projects” should be supported.

Critics, meanwhile, say Gfanz is not demanding enough of its members and that voluntary private sector-led initiatives will not bring the pace of change needed to avert catastrophic warming.

Nigel Topping, co-head of Gfanz, was among those calling for tougher climate regulations last week. “We cannot rely on voluntary action alone,” he said. Governments, regulators and the private sector must work together to “address market failures and provide conducive regulatory environments to dramatically accelerate the transformation to a 1.5C aligned economy”.

In the United States, financial institutions face a particularly difficult environment. A growing number of Republican lawmakers have denounced products labeled as “sustainable” and stepped up a campaign against environmental, social and governance investments.

At the same time, institutions are being scrutinized by US regulators and politicians. The chief executives of several major lenders were quizzed last week by members of Congress on topics including the climate – a discussion that included questions about funding from the State Financial Officers Foundation, a group of US public officials who oppose action on climate change.

Asked by House Democrat Sean Casten if they were still funding the group, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and Wells Fargo’s Charles Scharf both said they didn’t know.

Asked if they would commit to ending all support for the SFOF, which Casten said was “spreading misinformation”, Dimon said “if this were true, we would probably cancel it”, and Wells Fargo’s Charles Scharf said “I agree with Mr. Dimon”.

Additional reporting by Simon Mundy

Social Security reform would make sense now, except for one thing Sat, 24 Sep 2022 14:45:00 +0000 It feels like the 80s all over again. And that could mean an opportunity for Social Security reform.

High inflation, a turbulent stock market and recession were looming before Social Security reform in 1982. Conditions are increasingly similar today, but will reform ever get started?

The current economic climate reflects many of the conditions of the 1980s, when Social Security underwent its last sweeping changes, experts say, and while that may help spark a new round of reform, the current political climate could make change difficult. anytime soon.

Changes that took effect in 1983 included the taxation of Social Security benefits, the first Social Security coverage of federal employees, and an increase in the retirement age.

“What happened when inflation was this high before – Social Security underwent its most significant reform in history,” said Mary Johnson, analyst of Medicare and Social Security to the Senior Citizens League, a non-partisan group representing seniors.

Still, there were some differences in the early 1980s.

“The big difference in 1982 was that Social Security was in crisis and we were weeks away from defaulting. Now we’re 13 years away,” Johnson said. It remains to be seen whether we will have a recession now.

The Social Security Administration has said the funds Social Security uses to pay benefits will run out by 2035. That long period of time could delay what experts say is much-needed Social Security reform.

“We have another 13 years to go and high employment numbers right now,” Johnson said. “But the longer you wait, the bigger the changes that need to be – the bigger the cuts will be. It’s in everyone’s interest to get everyone working together now.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonprofit bipartisan public policy organization, predicts that the Social Security Trust Fund could be insolvent even sooner based on factors such as the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA ), which will be officially announced in October, being the highest in four decades.

The CRFB expects COLA to be in the range of 8.7% to 9%, which would bring the insolvency date back by one or two years, according to group chairwoman Maya MacGuineas.

While the Social Security Administration predicts what recipients will be eligible for in terms of benefits, it creates unrealistic expectations because no one knows what cuts might be coming for the program, MacGuineas said.

“Every year we wait, it becomes more difficult for beneficiaries to plan. The program will not look like what it promises,” MacGuineas said. “Waiting until the last minute, the more abrupt the changes will be.”

Without reform, the Social Security system will automatically adjust and benefits will drop 22% to 25%, Johnson said.

“The conditions are more than ripe for change. The problem is congressional inaction,” said Rep. John Larson, a Democrat from Connecticut. “Everyone is aware of the problems. We either have to improve the program and pay for it or face cuts to the program. It is not a right. It’s a deserved benefit that people have contributed to.

According to the Pew Research Center, Democrats and Republicans are united in their skepticism about the future of Social Security. Among those who are still working, equal shares from each party — 42% — say they do not expect to receive benefits when they stop working.

Even with doubts about the strength of the Social Security system, most Americans reject the idea of ​​cutting benefits for future retirees. When asked to think about the long-term future of Social Security, only 25% said some reductions in benefits for future retirees will need to be made, while 74% said benefits should only be reduced. no cases be reduced, found the Pew Research Center.

If it’s possible to get Social Security reform before the eve of 2035, “it’s still hopeful,” Larson said.

Larson’s proposal, Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, calls for an increase for all recipients equivalent to an average of 2% of benefits to compensate for what he calls “inadequate” COLA increases since the 1980s.

He also proposed using a different formula to calculate the COLA to better reflect the costs incurred by older people, such as healthcare costs. It also calls for a new minimum benefit to be set at 25% above the poverty line and would be linked to wage levels to ensure the minimum benefit does not lag behind.

Another proposal of the senses. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) aim to extend Social Security’s solvency for 75 years by raising taxes on the wealthy, while making benefits more generous.

Neither the Larson Proposals nor the Sanders-Warren Proposals made much political headway.

Given the threat to Social Security in 2035, the impending changes are expected to be as massive as the changes seen in the 1980s.

“We’re still going to see changes of that order of magnitude,” said Richard Johnson, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute’s Center for Incomes and Benefits Policy, where he directs the program on retirement policy.

“We can always hope for a change before 2035, but I’m not counting on it. Historically, Social Security reform comes at the last minute,” Johnson said.

Johnson expects the reform to involve cutting benefits or raising taxes, or both.

“If you combine some of the pain with some of the sweeteners, that’s more politically palatable,” Johnson said.

In 2020, presidential candidates have talked about changing Social Security but no movement has taken place on any of the proposals.

“Being unable to pay the full benefits in 13 years — it makes it hard for people to plan. Retirement is something you want to plan for your whole life, especially if there could be a 25% reduction in benefits,” Johnson said.

The Social Justice Movement launches the first-ever Pan-African Forum Fri, 23 Sep 2022 12:01:16 +0000

The event was attended by the Vice President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Basse Regional Council, the Regional Commissioners of Police and Immigration, the Regional Youth Committee Coordinator, the Regional Directorate of Health representative, Alkalo de Basse, among other dignitaries.

It was also followed by different African nationals residing and doing business in the upper river region of The Gambia.

The forum seeks to maintain peace, harmony and unity among the various African nationals in The Gambia.

According to the movement, Pan-Africanism must be put into practice to show how prepared we are for the emancipation of our people from colonial oppressions and to forge unity among our African brothers.

The Movement thanked the Africans who showed up at the event to show their support and cooperation in realizing their pan-African agenda in a united and pragmatic strategy.

The movement called for the lifting of all foreigners and residency permits for our African compatriots in The Gambia, the same rights and privileges given to Gambians in public facilities, especially ticket and room fees in hospitals. .

“Additionally, we believe that anyone born in The Gambia should have automatic citizenship status,” the movement added.

Adama Bittaye, secretary general of the movement, said it has now been 77 years since physical colonialism ended in Africa.

According to him, “For centuries, Europeans dominated the African continent. The white man arrogated to himself the right to govern and to be obeyed by non-whites; his mission, he said, was to “civilize” Africa. Beneath this cloak, the Europeans stripped the continent of vast wealth and inflicted unimaginable suffering on the African people.

Mr. Bittaye added that we must find an African solution to our problems which can only be found in African unity.

He urged President Barrow to take a tough stance on corruption, ensure action is taken to stabilize commodity prices, stop focusing on his political future and tackle the situation Gambians and Africans in general.

The Social Justice Movement, is an anti-corruption and pan-African movement that seeks to fight for the rights of the marginalized working class of society, to fight against all forms of injustice and to sell the pan-African agenda.

It aims to raise awareness of the Pan-African ideology by linking it to the free movement protocols of ECOWAS and the African Union; not only to ensure that the idea of ​​a single African currency and economic bloc is ingrained in the minds of Africans, but also to ensure that trade between African nationals in the region is well coordinated and controlled.