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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 11:36 AM
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Argentine city of Rosario bans use of glyphosate

The city council of Rosario, Argentina's third-largest city, banned the use and application of the herbicide glyphosate in all its variants, both for agricultural use as well as for public spaces and private gardens.

The ban, introduced by city councilors Osvaldo Miatello and Pedro Salinas, was unanimously approved on Thursday, making the city of 1.2 million the first in Argentina to ban glyphosate and the largest jurisdiction to have done so in Latin America.

The resolution calls on the Municipal Secretariat of Environment and Public Space to find alternative measures for weed and pest control in the city's 13 major parks and other public areas, as well as to enforce the ban among the numerous private orchards and gardens in the city.

Residents or businesses found to be using glyphosate will be fined up to 500,000 pesos ($28,000).

"The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned for years that glyphosate is potentially carcinogenic," City Councilman Osvaldo Miatello pointed out. "It's incumbent on the maker (Monsanto) to prove that it's not, and until they do, caution dictates that we act based on considerations to potential risks to public health."

Pesticide and herbicide use has risen around ten-fold in Argentina since 1990, and now totals around 100 million gallons annually - of which 64% is glyphosate.

Argentina's National Research Council (CONICET) published a study last year in Enviromental Monitoring and Assessment, that showed high levels of glyphosate and its byproducts in the entire Paraná River basin - which includes Rosario and much of Argentina's soy belt.

Rosario's glyphosate ban follows a number of others' such as Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Hamburg, Edinburgh, Minneapolis, and well as national bans in Holland, Malta, and Sri Lanka.

France has prohibited its use in public open spaces, and will ban its use in private gardens as of 2019. The European Parliament is currently debating its ban across all 28 EU nations.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.diarioregistrado.com%2Fsociedad-%2Fprohiben-el-uso-de-glifosato-en-rosario-por-ser--carcinogeno-para-seres-humanos-_a5a0f34c7469c062c48784961&edit-text=

Rosario, Argentina.

How Trump made millions licensing his name to a development used to launder drug money

For more, please see: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10029858179

Argentina's navy searches for missing submarine with 44 on board

Argentina’s navy has launched a massive search and rescue operation for a military submarine with 44 crew members that has been missing off the coast of Patagonia for more than two days.

The last radio contact with the San Juan submarine was on Wednesday, when it was 430 km (268 mi) off the coast of the southern province of Chubut, in the area of San Jorge Bay, a naval spokesman said on Friday.

Local media reported that contact with the San Juan was lost after a fire affected the submarine’s radio equipment.

“We are investigating the reasons for the lack of communication,” Argentine naval spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters. “If there was a communication problem, the boat would have to come to the surface.”

The diesel-powered 66-metre (217 ft) long Class TR 1700 San Juan is one of the Argentine Navy’s three submarines. It was bought from Germany in 1985.

It was on a voyage from Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, to the naval base of Mar del Plata when contact was lost.

Balbi said the submarine had enough food for several days.

At: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/argentinas-navy-searches-for-missing-submarine-with-at-least-40-on-board/ar-BBF5VGS?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Spain's Rajoy refuses pardon to woman jailed for suing nun who sold her as a stolen infant

Ascensión López, the Spanish woman sentenced in July to five months in prison for slandering a nun accused of taking her from her biological mother and handing her to pro-Franco adoptive parents in 1962, has been denied a pardon by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

López, too poor to pay €40,000 ($46,000) in damages, will be the first person to be jailed over Spain's enormous baby-snatching racket stemming from the Franco era. An estimated 30,000 babies were absconded and sold by Catholic Church clergy to supporters of the fascist, 1939-75 dictatorship.

"I have a bone-wasting disease, I have not been able to work for three years and my two children are unemployed and have no contact with their father," a tearful López told the BBC.

According to López, her adoptive father, a senior figure in Gen. Francisco Franco's regime in Almería whose marriage was barren, bought her for 250,000 pesetas (about $57,000 in today's money) via his niece, Dolores Baena, a nun working in a Seville hospital at the time.

"My imprisonment is being used as a warning to the other victims of the baby theft ring," López said after the sentencing. "But even if I go to jail, I will remain freer than those who are prisoners of their own lies."

At: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40447215

And: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cuartopoder.es%2Fsociedad%2F2017%2F11%2F12%2Fascension-lopez-mi-condena-es-un-aviso-para-las-demas-victimas-de-bebes-robados%2F&edit-text=

Ascensión López

Gordon Brown calls on G20 to end tax havens

Gordon Brown has written an open letter and launched a petition calling for an international agreement to be reached to ‘immediately’ close down centres which help the wealthy dodge tax, in response to this week’s Paradise Papers data leak.

Jersey was at the centre of one of the major media stories generated by the leak of 13.4 million documents, after it was revealed that U.S. tech giant Apple moved subsidiaries to the Island to allegedly help avoid tax on £250 billion held offshore.

The Island has continually been referred to as a ‘tax haven’ in media reports and was the subject of a Panorama report broadcast on Monday.

In response to the Paradise Papers, Gordon Brown has written an open letter, with an accompanying petition, to the chairman of the G20 calling for him to end the practice of money being moved offshore to avoid tax.

The letter, which is addressed to Argentine President Mauricio Macri and other G20 leaders, says:

‘The level of global inequality is appalling – eight people own as much wealth as half the planet. And the gap is growing, thanks in part to the shadowy world of tax havens which lets trillions be syphoned offshore from our economies. Right now, the rich get richer, and the rest of us pay.’

The right-wing Macri administration has been rocked by both the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers.

Finance Minister Luis Caputo was shown to have managed two undisclosed offshore investment funds with at at least $100 million under portfolio, while Energy Minister Juan Aranguren was tied to two Barbados-domiciled natural gas suppliers which his own energy ministry awarded over $250 million in contracts.

Macri himself was one of five sitting heads of government listed in the Panama Papers and Open Corporate leaks, published in April 2016, with over 50 offshore shell companies in his name or his family's dating from as far back as 1981.

At: https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2017/11/12/brown-calls-on-g20-to-end-tax-havens/

Link to open letter: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2017/11/there-way-outlaw-tax-havens-and-i-ll-personally-tell-world-leaders-how-do

In California, a vote to scrap deductions could be kiss of death for endangered House Republicans

Some of America's most important political races will be run next year in seven California congressional districts. That seems strange.

Normally, these contests would be obscure asterisks outside their local areas. The Republican incumbents would win, most of them comfortably. But these aren’t normal times: They’re Trump times.

A big factor in whether those California House Republicans survive could be how they vote on the GOP tax overhaul pending in Congress. Despite Republican leaders' claims that the legislation would cut taxes for most people, independent analysts say both rival bills have middle-class tax hikes written all over them.

That's particularly true in high-tax California because of the proposed elimination — or serious crimping — of state and local tax deductions on federal returns.

"I would think if Republicans manage to enact legislation that kills state and local tax deductions," says Darry Sragow, a longtime Democratic strategist, "they arguably are putting a deadly weapon to their foreheads — and pulling the trigger."

Even if the bill fails to pass but a Republican votes for it, Sragow adds, a Democratic rival can capitalize by claiming that the incumbent "doesn't stand with the voters. He votes 180 degrees opposite them."

Those seven endangered Republican House members include five from Southern California: Darrell Issa of Vista; Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa; Mimi Walters of Irvine; Ed Royce of Fullerton; and Steve Knight of Palmdale. The other two are from the San Joaquin Valley: David Valadao of Hanford and Jeff Denham of Turlock.

What all seven have in common — and a big reason analysts think they’re vulnerable in next year’s elections — is that their districts voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Trump.

At: http://beta.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-skelton-salt-deductions-california-republicans-20171113-story.html

I should note that California's state property tax rate - about 1.25%, depending on your county - isn't high at all.

But when your home's assessed at $750,000 or more (as many in Cali are), that means your ability to deduct said tax may now be limited.

Democratic socialism is having a very good year at the ballot box

When Lee Carter realized that he had defeated an entrenched Republican incumbent and been elected to the Virginia House of Delegates on November 7, the 30-year-old Marine veteran claimed his upset victory.

The Virginian was one of many candidates who were inspired by the 2016 presidential campaign of another democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders. The senator recognized the Virginia result by declaring that "Lee Carter’s victory shows beyond doubt that the American people are ready for change."

Lee Carter’s unapologetically socialist and passionately populist candidacy unsettled establishment Democrats in Virginia, to such an extent that Richmond Times-Dispatch political writer Patrick Wilson reported in late October that the challenger had been “abandoned” by the party brass.

That had a lot to do with corporate power, and its influence on both major parties.

But his victory was critical for Virginia Democrats, who picked up enough seats - at least 15 - to be on the verge of taking charge of the House of Delegates for the first time in almost two decades.

Carter recognized something that elite Democrats did not: Voters are far readier for a politics that pushes to the left on economic and social policy. And they are not particularly bothered by the word “socialist.”

His Republican opponent sent voters a pre-election mailer that juxtaposed the Marine veteran’s image with those of Soviet leaders and China’s Mao Zedong. The word “Socialism” was splashed across the front of the red leaflet.

The attack fell flat. Carter won with ease, securing almost 55% of the vote - and he was not alone. After the November 7 election, Democratic Socialists of America announced that its membership “now includes 15 new elected officials. This is in addition to 20 elected already in offices around the United States.”

At: https://www.thenation.com/article/democratic-socialism-is-having-a-very-good-year-at-the-ballot-box/

Former U.S. intelligence officials: Trump being 'played' by Putin

Two top former U.S. intelligence officials said Sunday that President Trump is being “played” by President Vladi­mir Putin on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and accused him of being susceptible to foreign leaders who stroke his ego.

“By not confronting the issue directly and not acknowledging to Putin that we know you’re responsible for this, I think he’s giving Putin a pass,” former CIA director John Brennan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I think it demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint.”

Appearing on the same program, former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said he agrees with that assessment.

“He seems very susceptible to rolling out the red carpet and honor guards and all the trappings and pomp and circumstance that come with the office, and I think that appeals to him, and I think it plays to his insecurities,” Clapper said.

At: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/former-us-intelligence-officials-trump-being-%E2%80%98played%E2%80%99-by-putin/ar-BBESASv?li=BBnbcA1&ocid=mailsignout

"You want me to get down on my knees and kiss your ring right here?"

"Did I stutter?"

Exit poll results: How different groups of Virginians voted

See how different groups voted in the governor’s race between Ralph Northam, Ed Gillespie and Cliff Hyra, and how their support compares with support for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Virginia exit poll.

The poll was conducted by Edison Media Research for the National Election Pool, The Washington Post and other media organizations.

By gender

Men made up a slight majority of voters for the first time in any recent Virginia election. But while men tend to vote more Republican, they favored Gillespie by just two points, smaller than Trump's nine-point edge last year.

Northam won female voters by 22%, larger than Clinton's 17-point advantage last year.

By race

Northam garnered support from 8 in 10 nonwhite voters according to exit poll results, while Gillespie received support from less than 2 in 10 among this group. Gillespie won white voters by 15%, but this was much smaller than Trump’s 24-point advantage over Clinton in 2016.

African Americans have made up just under one-fifth of Virginia’s electorate, and a surge in black voting has been decisive in recent statewide elections.


Six in 10 college graduates supported Northam for governor according to the Virginia exit poll, up from the 55%who supported Clinton in 2016.

At: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/local/virginia-politics/governor-exit-polls/?utm_term=.07023c339aa8

Gillespie voters were the usual suspects:

"Long live the Confed'racy, no more browns (we got 'nuff blacks as it is), Trump cares 'bout me 'cause I'm poorl'educated, who cares about health care (unless it's mine), an' I want mah machine guns in case them zombies invade!"

U.S. confirms import tariff hike on Argentine biodiesel

Following failed negotiations, the U.S. Department of Commerce decided to impose tariffs of 72% on imports of Argentine biodiesel.

The Commerce Department had already imposed a 50% to 64% tariff on imports of the Argentine biodiesel in August. The then-preliminary sanction was prompted by claims by private U.S. biodiesel producers, which accused Argentina of dumping and unfair practices.

Thursday's final decision means that the Trump administration considered the American producers' claim legitimate.

"The biodiesel industry has been hurt in recent years by unfairly traded imports from Argentina and Indonesia," said Doug Whitehead, director of operations for the National Biodiesel Board.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri said his government would "definitely appeal to the World Trade Organization" (WTO).

While biodiesel is just 2% of Argentine exports, 90% of the $1.2 billion in Argentine biodiesel exports last year were purchased by the U.S. - supplying around 15% of the total U.S. market.

Preliminary tariff hikes in August had already depressed Argentine biodiesel exports from 167,000 tons in September 2016, to 30,000 this September - mostly to Spain.

Biodiesel had become the country's largest export to the U.S. in 2016, making up 25% of the $4.6 billion in U.S. imports from Argentina last year.

At: http://www.iii.co.uk/alliance-news/1510268031016682400-3/argentina-us-confirms-import-tariff-hike-on-argentinean-biodiesel
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