hc

Mike Lofgren – The Soft Power Hoax

A recurrent buzz phrase of the Washington mandarinate in the last two decades has been “soft power.” The term was coined by Joseph Nye, a Harvard academic, in his 1990 book, Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power. What he meant by the term is that “when one country gets other countries to want what it wants [it] might …

noise

Christine Sarich – The Adverse Effects of Noise Pollution on Your Health

Did you know that the sound from a heavy truck moving down the road – approximately 85dB (decibel) – can have an adverse effect on your health? It isn’t just rock musicians who suffer from hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises – noise pollution can cause a host of ailments, from tinnitus to depression. Exposure to sounds as …

China’s Market Falls: a New Global Financial Crisis Next? By Jack Rasmus

China’s two main stock markets, the Shanghai and the Shenzhen Exchanges, plunged more than 30% in recent weeks from their previous record highs of June 12. The Shanghai dropped 30%, and the tech-stock heavy Shenzhen by 37%. That’s the steepest stock decline in China since 1992. The markets briefly stabilized on July 9. But the question remains, will they continue …

Latest TPP Draft Benefits Big Pharma By Slashing Access to Generics – Sarah Lazare

With another round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations slated for the end of this month, the administration of President Barack Obama is aiming to force developing nations to adopt Big Pharma-friendly policies that are so bad for public health Obama himself has opposed them in the United States. Citing leaked drafts of the agreement, as well as officials “familiar with the latest May …

Deforestation in Asia and Africa: Palm Oil Giant Wilmar Resorts to “Dirty Tricks”

World’s largest palm oil trading company, Wilmar International Ltd., under scrutiny as communities accuse its suppliers of harassment, deception and rights abuses. Oil palm giant Wilmar International Ltd. (F34.SI / WLIL.SI) stands accused of resorting to ‘dirty tricks’ in its dealings with communities. The allegations come from community leaders and non-Governmental organisations who have tracked the company’s operations on the ground in Borneo, Sumatra, …

OECD report documents growth of financial parasitism By Nick Beams

A report issued by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) last Wednesday is confirmation that the financial crisis of 2008 was not a temporary downturn in the world economy, but arose from fundamental contradictions at the very heart of the global capitalist system. Seven years on, those contradictions are deepening. They have been exacerbated by the policy pursued …

China Blasts US for ‘Brazen’ Human Rights Abuses at Home and Abroad – Deirdre Fulton

In a report that covers everything from police violence to income inequality to government surveillance, China has blasted the United States for its “grim problems of racial discrimination,” use of “cruel tortures indiscriminately,” and “terrible human rights record.” The lengthy report, carried by the official Xinhua news agency and issued on Friday in response to U.S. criticism of China’s human rights record, …

A “Secular ISIL” Rises In Southeast Asia By Andrew KORYBKO

A triad of Great Power interests intersects in the confined area of the India-Myanmar border, and each actor has differing objectives, motivations, and apprehensions. When one includes Myanmar itself into the foray, a ‘quarrelling quartet’ of contradictory trajectories emerges: Myanmar: Internal Balancing Beginning with the country most adversely affected by domestic and foreign militancy (as well as the subject of …

The Lancet: Fossil Fuels Are Killing Us… Quitting Them Can Save Us – Jon Queally

The bad news is very bad, indeed. But first, the good news: “Responding to climate change could be the biggest global health opportunity of this century.” That message is the silver lining contained in a comprehensive newly published report by The Lancet, the UK-based medical journal, which explores the complex intersection between global human health and climate change. “It took on entrenched interests …

climate health

Why climate change is increasingly seen as an urgent health issue – Julia Belluz

When people think about health, they generally think about things individuals can do to ward off disease — seeing a doctor, taking medicine, or dieting. But increasingly, many health experts think this mindset needs to change. When we think about health, they say, we need to start thinking about how environmental factors can matter as much as — maybe even …