This week, drone victims from Waziristan spoke about their experiences with drone attacks in a United States lawmaker session. However, only five lawmakers attended. Another person affected by drone usage said, "We hear the noise 24 hours a day." —
In three US cities, three longtime mayors prepare exits. What legacies?
Call them the hipster, the billionaire, and the boss.
Three mayors of three cities, each having served at least three terms, are now preparing to exit the municipal stage after more than a decade shaping major metropolitan hubs – and perhaps the American urban landscape, too.
There’s R.T. Rybak in Minneapolis, the mayor known for crowd-surfing at an alt-rock venue made famous by Prince, and leading 30,000 zombies on a city-sanctioned pub crawl – and hosting its contest to see who could eat the most brains (pork brains in tacos, that is).
There’s Michael Bloomberg in New York, the media mogul and world’s 13th-richest man, the mayor of the nation’s financial central server, ticking off the secrets of his success with a simple Wall Street mantra: Arrive early, leave late, eat lunch at your desk.
Then there’s Thomas Menino in Boston, the five-term septuagenarian mayor cut from a sepia-toned era of backroom power brokers, a politician who has shaken so many hands, attended so many ribbon-cuttings, and sat with so many parents at Little League games that today almost half of Boston’s residents say they have met him personally.
Come Nov. 5, voters will elect successors to the men who have practically become the public faces of their respective cities. It will mark the first time this century that three mayors who’ve served at least 12 years in major cities will leave office at the same time.
Read the rest of the article at Christian Science Monitor.
Women were always the only adults in Washington.
It’s quite an irony that the U.S. Senate was once known for having the worst vestiges of a private men’s club: unspoken rules, hidden alliances, off-hours socializing and an ethic based at least as much on personal relationships as merit to get things done. That Senate—a fraternal paradise that worked despite all its obvious shortcomings—is long gone. And now the only place the old boys’ network seems to function anymore is among the four Republicans and 16 Democrats who happen to be women.
The notion that women in power function differently from men, more collaboratively and thus more effectively, has long been an intuitively appealing but empirically unproven theory. Lately, the U.S. Senate has been running a lab test. Women now chair or sit as ranking members of 10 of the Senate’s 20 committees and are responsible for passing the vast majority of legislation this year, whether it be the budget, the transportation bill, the farm bill, the Water Resources Development Act or the Violence Against Women Act.
More than 29 million people around the world are living in slavery, according to the first index to attempt to measure the scale of modern-day slavery on a country-by-country basis. (The International Labour Organization estimates 21 million people worldwide are in forced labour.) The index, published by the Walk Free Foundation on Thursday, ranks 162 countries and identifies risk factors for enslavement and the government responses.
Slavery is the possession and control of a person in such a way as to significantly deprive that person of his or her individual liberty, with the intent of exploiting that person through their use, management, profit, transfer or disposal. Usually this exercise will be achieved through means such as violence or threats of violence, deception and/or coercion.
In 2013, modern slavery takes many forms, and is known by many names: slavery, forced labour or human trafficking. Whatever term is used, the significant characteristic of all forms of modern slavery is that it involves one person depriving another people of their freedom: their freedom to leave one job for another, their freedom to leave one workplace for another, their freedom to control their own body.”
The research found that around 10 countries hold about 70% of the world’s slaves. India has the highest number of people enslaved in absolute terms, approximately 14 million, almost half the total worldwide. China has 2.9 million enslaved and Pakistan is third, with an estimated 2 million.
Among the countries with the highest percentage of modern slavery per capita, the West African nation of Mauritania was the worst offender. According to the report, up to 20 percent of Mauritania’s population of 3.7 million people are enslaved, many through a hereditary system.
Head over to Global Slavery Index's website to see the interactive map of modern slavery around the world.
1. Fatima, a Bangladeshi migrant working as a low-paid prostitute in a central Calcutta brothel, was sold into the profession by her husband in collusion with a prostitute at the brothel where she now works. Though India ranks fourth on this list, it’s also the country with the highest number of people enslaved in the world. (Majority World/UIG via Getty Images)
2. Pakistani brick makers gather freshly moulded bricks ready for firing at a brick kiln in the outskirts of Lahore. Modern slavery in Pakistan is primarily characterized as bonded labour. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)
3. Eleven trafficked children were arrested by the police at the border between Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. They were going to be exploited in cocoa plantations in the south of Ivory Coast. Enslaved women and children in Côte d’Ivoire are often subjected to forced labour and sex work. (Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images)
4. A grandmother holds up pictures of her lost granddaughter, who she believed was forced into prostitution as a sex slave. In Nepal, modern slavery practices include forced labour and sex work. (Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The conservative lawmaker delivered a 21-hour speech on Sep. 24, urging Senate and House Republicans to vote against any government funding measure that includes appropriations for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and is viewed as at least partially responsible for the current impasse.
Since the shutdown, GOP’s approval ratings have plummeted, with 74 percentof voters saying they now disapprove of the Republican party. A recent NBC/WSJ poll found that just 14 percent of Americans approve of Cruz.
John McCain: “I do worry about the Republican Party. It’s the first time I have ever seen Republican senators running ads, raising money that is being used to attack incumbent Republican senators.”
As Republicans burn their brand to the ground, I’m looking for my fiddle.
Everyone the U.S. Government Owes Money To, in One Graph (via Planet Money)
- LIBYA: Insurgents briefly kidnap Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who was at a hotel in Tripoli. According to the Times, “Zeidan’s abductors appeared to be among the semiautonomous militias” who serve as Libya’s police and security forces. Well, great. (NY Times)
- DON’T LISTEN TO THE GOP: Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warns of the devastating consequences of the US defaulting on its loans. Meanwhile, there’s a new nickname for House Republicans: "default deniers." Their latest gimmick: a six-week extension on the debt ceiling deadline. Or maybe scared John Boehner can just call a vote. (WashPo / MaddowBlog / ABC News)
- Meanwhile, the Koch Brothers can’t control the Tea Party monster they created, LOL. (The Atlantic)
- WOMEN, ROARING: Canadian short story writer Alice Munro wins the Nobel Prize for Literature while Malala Yousafzai wins the European Parliament’s human rights award for her education advocacy work and for standing up to those asshole Taliban. (AP / Al Jazeera)
- A roller coaster gets stuck, and a metaphor for the GOP ensues. (CNN)
- Retailers report rise in sales. (Reuters)
- And finally… THE BRAAAAAIN EVENT: Here’s an advance review of Sunday’s season premiere of The Walking Dead. No spoilers, unless you count “Carl is at the vegetable garden. Rick is chopping out weeds” as a spoiler. (NY Daily News)
A demonstrator with his face covered jumps over a burning barricade at the Cinelandia square during a march in support of teachers on strike in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Oct. 7, 2013. Teachers have been on strike demanding better pay for almost two months.
[Credit : Felipe Dana/AP]
Even before the shutdown, House Republicans couldn’t get anything done. See their biggest fails.
James Rothman, 62, professor of biomedical sciences at Yale University; Randy Schekman, 64, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley; and Thomas C. Suedhof, 57, a physiology professor at Stanford University, yesterday won the prize for detailing how chemicals produced by cells are shuttled from one place to another. The work has led to new production methods for insulin and opened new avenues for treating disease.
The U.S. government shutdown, now in its second week, brought a halt to basic research at the National Institutes of Health. The agency also suspended grant applications. On March 1, President Barack Obama ordered the NIH to cut $1.55 billion, or 5 percent, of its 2013 budget. Science funding is “imperiled,” Suedhof said yesterday during a conference call.
“Particularly now people need to be reminded that that investment is being eroded and suspended because of government inaction,” Schekman said in an interview.
Not surprising, just depressing.