Seeing the Power of Political Posters – New York Times


New York Times
Seeing the Power of Political Posters
New York Times
Similarly, a colorful 1936 poster for the American Labor Party promoting Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert H. Lehman, who served as governor of New York from 1933 to 1942, advocated a five-day workweek, the abolition of child labor, and Social Security

|||||||http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNH927eWvQxdHFy2dMrx2CMeRW-y7A&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&ei=n6K7VbD1J–ywQGw3ZeoDg&url=http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/arts/design/seeing-the-power-of-political-posters.html

Dubai’s Skyline Is a Monument to Oppression, Not Prosperity

arko-datto-crossings-dubai-skyline-gulf-workers-rights-labor-abuse

Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world. (Source: Arko Datto)

Over the past few decades, the booming oil economy and real estate market in the United Arab Emirates have earned the nation a reputation for opulent wealth. From towering skyscrapers, man-made islands, and indoor ski-slopes to sprawling highways and bridges, the UAE — and Dubai especially — has become synonymous with resplendent metropolitanism.

At first glance, Dubai’s rapid urban development seems to be nothing short of a modern engineering miracle. Viral images depict a massive city rising from the desert over just 20 years, a virtually unprecedented amount of growth in such a short period of time. This development has been praised as the world’s fastest, and the buildings themselves have beenlauded for their “sophistication” and “authenticity.”

Dubai’s astonishing growth is generally credited with transforming the entire UAE for the better. Beneath Dubai’s veneer of progress, however, something is very, very wrong.

The city’s glitzy buildings and highways — traditionally seen as monuments to the entire region’s economic success — are testaments to the work done by migrant workers from Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

Human Rights Watch estimates that over 5 million low-paid migrant workers currently reside in the United Arab Emirates alone, a population far exceeding the country’s nationals and largely responsible for shaping the region into the economic and architectural juggernaut it is today. Yet these workers are all but invisible in the cities they built. Stowed away in ramshackle compounds and forced to work long hours in oppressive heat, they’re deliberately kept away from the public eye.

Juxtaposition

Arko Datto, a visual artist currently based in India, is well aware of this fact. While traveling, he recalls being “fascinated with the bustling megalopolises of Arabia, a cold post-apocalyptic vision of towering megaliths seen across the hazy abrasive heat.”

This interest, combined with recent developments in satellite imaging technology, culminated in Crossings: Promenades in the Arabian Desert — an art project combining Google Earth and Maps images with quotations about the reality of migrant workers in the region, derived from firsthand accounts and fact-finding reports.

Screenshot-Arko-Datto-Islands

An excerpt from the digital book version of Crossings.

According to Datto, the project shows “the society that the migrant diaspora has helped construct, shape, and maintain while occupying the bottom echelons of society.” In Crossings,he weaves a story detailing the plight of migrant workers, creating a narrative of their experiences in both the UAE and the Arabian Peninsula as a whole.

The media has already uncovered Qatar’s deplorable worker’s rights track record, amidst FIFA’s decision to grant the country’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup. The Guardian reports that Nepalese migrant workers died at a rate of one every two days in 2014 — a figure that excludes workers from other ethnic backgrounds, which would drive the number up significantly.

This international scrutiny has yet to shift to other rights offenders in the region, a glaring omission that Datto is helping to remedy.

In the Shadow of Glitz

Throughout the digital book, stunning satellite images of architectural landmarks are juxtaposed with interviews from migrant workers, Emirati foremen, and Western expatriates, along with excerpts from legal and human rights briefs. Together, these divergent sources help paint a picture of daily life for migrant workers — and it’s far from a pretty one.

These individuals are lured to the UAE with promises of high wages and easy living — conditions that are vast improvements from their previous lives.

Sahinal Monir, a 24-year-old from Bangladesh, described his recruitment story to theIndependent. An employment agent arrived in his village, advertising monthly wages of £400 for a 9-to-5 construction job. Monir was promised “great accommodation, great food, and fair treatment.” He only had to take out a £2,300 loan for a work visa — and that could be paid off, he was told, in “the first six months, easy.”

arko-datto-dubai

Another excerpt from the digital book version of Crossings.

It sounded too good to be true. And it was.

As soon as Monir arrived in Dubai, the construction company immediately confiscated his passport. The company then told him that he would be working 14-hour days in the desert heat — where, as The Independent reports,  tourists are “advised not to stay outside for even five minutes in summer” — for less than a quarter of the wages he’d been promised.

As soon as Monir arrived in Dubai, the construction company immediately confiscated his passport. The company then told him that he would be working 14-hour days in the desert heat — where, as The Independent reports,  tourists are “advised not to stay outside for even five minutes in summer” — for less than a quarter of the wages he’d been promised.

When Monir protested, the company told him to go home if the conditions weren’t satisfactory. “But how can I go home? You have my passport, and I have no money for the ticket,” he said. “Well, then you’d better get to work,” they replied.

Monir’s living quarters embody the lie he was sold. He lives in a “tiny, poky, concrete cell with triple-decker bunk-beds,” which he shares with 11 other men. The lavatories in the camp — little more than glorified ditches — are “backed up with excrement and clouds of black flies,” filling the entire facility with an unbearable stench. Monir has no access to air conditioning or fans, so the heat is “unbearable. You cannot sleep. All you do is sweat and scratch all night.”

At the Crossroads

Monir’s story is one of many detailed in Crossings, highlighting the systemic abuse faced by migrant workers. The juxtaposition of sprawling highways, gargantuan skyscrapers, and decadent artificial islands with these stories highlights the slavery-like conditions that made these monuments possible.

In the context of the workers’ stories, Dubai’s architectural wonders shift from testaments to the city’s cosmopolitanism to stark reminders of its reliance on systemic exploitation.

Despite protests and increased scrutiny, migrant workers’ conditions in the UAE have yet to improve significantly. Though Crossings elicits a sense of despair and hopelessness in the audience, the project is helping to bring these issues to a wider audience. “I want to show to the world a bitter truth that is at the crossroads of capitalism and racism,” Datto told Wired.

Crossings undermines the carefully constructed “silence” maintained by the Emirati elite, delivering a clear and unavoidable message about the deplorable conditions of over 5 million migrant workers in the UAE. Only time will tell if the international community chooses to listen.

Crossings: Promenades in the Arabian Desert is available for free at arkodatto.com/crossing.

The post Dubai’s Skyline Is a Monument to Oppression, Not Prosperity appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

Laith Shakir is a fellow of the Next Leaders program at the Institute for Policy Studies.

|||||||http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/IPS/latest/~3/_9EC8N3NM5M/

Britain and France Scramble as Channel Becomes Choke Point in Migration Crisis – New York Times


New York Times
Britain and France Scramble as Channel Becomes Choke Point in Migration Crisis
New York Times
But now, thousands of illegal migrants, refugees from war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, find themselves bottled up at one final choke point in northern France: the entrance to the Channel Tunnel. Over two nights this week, their
Calais migrants crisis: most national papers blame France, bien sûrThe Guardian
Migrant Crisis Continues at UK-France BorderWall Street Journal
Migrant crisis links France, BritainPress Herald
Human Rights Watch -New York Post
all 1,657 news articles »

|||||||http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNFH-fwT7o0eseERInSQUULHMNVI7A&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52778911753072&ei=c3O6VYjlFanzwQHm6IuQBQ&url=http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/30/world/europe/britain-and-france-scramble-as-channel-crossing-attempts-by-migrants-continue.html

The Ongoing Exploitation of Home Care Workers

Domestic worker caring for elderly

(Image: Flickr / Brian Wolfe)

Who will take care of grandma?

It’s a question we need to answer. As baby boomers grow older, the elderly population — seniors who are 80 and older — will increase almost 200 percent by 2050.

Our long-term care system isn’t ready. Studies show that older Americans prefer home care over institutionalization. But because of low wages and poor working conditions, recruiting and retaining home health aides and personal care assistants is very difficult.

In the end, that means a lower quality of care and fewer home care workers for grandma.

Maybe the home care industry just can’t afford to pay workers more?

Hardly. The industry has boomed over the past decade. According to the National Employment Law Project, its revenue increased 48 percent, while CEO compensation ballooned by a whopping 150 percent.

In fact, home care today is a multi-billion dollar industry. Because of rising demand and skyrocketing revenues, Forbes called home health care one of the hottest franchises in the market.

Sadly, home care workers haven’t shared in the industry’s prosperity. During the same period that revenue soared, average hourly wages for workers declined by 6 percent.

And that’s not the worst of it. Because of a “companionship exemption” to federal labor laws, more than 2 million home care workers today are excluded from minimum wage and overtime pay protections.

Ninety percent of them are women. More than half rely on public assistance to make ends meet.

The Department of Labor has tried to stop the industry from misusing the companionship exemption to pay home care workers less. It passed a new rule that was supposed to make these workers eligible for minimum wage and overtime pay this January.

But before the rule went into effect, several for-profit home care associations — including the International Franchise Association — successfully sued the Department of Labor to prevent the change.

The industry is claiming that higher wages mean grandma won’t be able to get the care she needs.

The truth?

Studies show that higher wages mean grandma will be able to find and keep the best caregiver. And the 15 states that already provide minimum wage and overtime pay for home care workers prove that it’s feasible.

All told, Grandma will be more likely to get the care she needs when her caregivers can earn a living wage.

The post The Ongoing Exploitation of Home Care Workers appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

Marjorie Wood is a senior staff member of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and the managing editor of inequality.org.

|||||||http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/IPS/latest/~3/ClQSvmcUqYU/

New Jamestown Discovery Reveals the Identities of Four Prominent Settlers – Smithsonian


Smithsonian
New Jamestown Discovery Reveals the Identities of Four Prominent Settlers
Smithsonian
His discoveries, all part of a project known as Jamestown Rediscovery, include everything from full-body armor, a loaded pistol and a pirate's grappling pike to children's shoes and tools from such a broad array of trades (blacksmith, gunsmith, mason

and more »

|||||||http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNGCCreAatQSCN_CGSMlf9czJZnbjg&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52778912106941&ei=iAC5VYD8Ksz1wAHNn4TQBg&url=http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/new-archaeological-research-jamestown-reveals-identities-four-prominent-settlers-discovery-180956028/

Kayaktivists Attempt to Stop Shell’s Damaged Arctic Ice Breaker from Departing for Arctic

For live interviews in Portland, around the clock, contact: Daphne Wysham, Center for Sustainable Economy: 202-510-3541; Meredith Cocks, Portland Rising Tide, 703-994-6359; or Maya Jarrad, 350PDX: 802-598-2402.

An array of kayaktivists and protesters are gathering on July 28, starting at noon, and staying for a 24-hour vigil at Cathedral Park in Portland, OR, at the banks of the Willamette River in anticipation of the Fennica, Shell Oil’s damaged ice-breaker, departing on July 29 from Portland for the Arctic. The Fennica’s departure will allow Shell to commence drilling in the Arctic. The Department of Interior has stated that there is a 75 percent chance of an oil spill in the Arctic once drilling commences, a spill which experts say would be virtually impossible to clean up, posing unacceptable risks to indigenous peoples and the marine environment. Shell is proposing to commence drilling in this untouched region—thanks to rapidly melting ice in the Arctic due to climate change– at a time when NASA’s former top climate scientist says we may see at least 10 feet of sea level rise by 2050.

“Scientists tell us we can’t drill in the Arctic if we want to avoid dangerous climate change and sea level rise that threatens three-quarters of the Earth’s major cities in the next few decades. Nevertheless, Shell is putting its corporate profits ahead of the future of the planet and preparing to drill in a region where an oil spill cannot be cleaned up. Portland kayaktivists are the last phalanx of resistance to this insanity,” said Daphne Wysham, Associate Fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies in Portland, OR.

“In Portland and across the Northwest, we have the unique opportunity and responsibility to act as a chokepoint in the transport of dirty coal, oil, and gas. For years, Portland has demonstrated powerful resistance to the shipping of coal and oil by rail, as well as tar sands mining equipment by road. We view the arrival of Shell’s icebreaker in Portland as another chance to disrupt new oil development and demonstrate that any and all new fossil fuel exploration and extraction is an unacceptable risk to our climate and future,” said Meredith Cox of Portland Rising Tide.
.
“Scientists are sounding the alarm, telling us we need to keep most of our known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. This makes Shell’s extreme extraction adventure in the Arctic the definition of insanity. We’re talking about putting humanity, our entire planet’s livability at extreme risk. Portland is going to be taking a stand to say, ‘Shell No!’ We’re here fighting for humanity against the most wealthy and powerful industry in human history, but we’re not afraid, because everything we love and value in life is on the line,” said Maya Jarrad with 350PDX.

Professional photos and a livestream video of the various actions will be available to the press upon request. Check https://cel.ly/c/sHellNOPDX/landing, www.350pdx.org, www.portlandrisingtide.org , www.sustainable-economy.org for updates. Follow our Twitter feeds at #PDXvsShell, #Floodthesystem and #ShellNo. Text @sHellNoPDX to 23559 to receive text updates on Tuesday’s vigil and other planned actions.

The post Kayaktivists Attempt to Stop Shell’s Damaged Arctic Ice Breaker from Departing for Arctic appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

|||||||http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/IPS/latest/~3/rZzHAzZb6X0/

Germany, Greece, and the Future of Europe – Huffington Post


Huffington Post
Germany, Greece, and the Future of Europe
Huffington Post
A financial crisis is caused by a country's excessive indebtedness, which generally reflects a combination of mismanagement by the debtor country, over-optimism, corruption, and the poor judgment and weak incentives of creditor banks. Greece fits that
A better deal for Greece is possibleKathimerini
Activists: Greece Not the Only Nation Facing Debt CrisisVOA Learning English

all 24 news articles »

|||||||http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNG6hXnqEdPEg5B_bgkjK-35Z3Gj2g&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52778912118289&ei=MXO4VfjUKqX9wAHrgKaYBQ&url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/germany-greece-and-the-future-of-europe_b_7886494.html

Commit to engaging, shareable content – Business News


Business News
Commit to engaging, shareable content
Business News
The word 'viral' is an overused expression in this space; I prefer to think the preferred term and goal is 'shareable content'. Sharable content creates a community that will create repeat business. You want those engaging with you on social media to

|||||||http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNGKoQJvSbNnANyO4XtHYJ_GEAFFaw&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&ei=uzG4VfirDsWRwQGdsIHgAg&url=https://www.businessnews.com.au/article/Commit-to-engaging-shareable-content

AROUND YOUR TOWN for Tuesday, July 28, 2015 – Sierra Vista Herald


Sierra Vista Herald
AROUND YOUR TOWN for Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Sierra Vista Herald
Get a close-up look at these tiny travelers as staff and volunteers from the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory capture, band, weigh, measure, and release them as part of long-term studies of the bird life of this vital migration route. Banding

and more »

|||||||http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNEqILLVsb_CLoK13bgM_RW_3_F38g&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52778911769236&ei=tK-3VaiKFKK7wQGm0YDYBA&url=http://svherald.com/content/community/2015/07/27/397789