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    Chicago man Sicilia Giovanni feeding one of the city’s new parking meters in 2009. Until 2083, much of Chicago’s meter money will go to investors in Abu Dhabi as a result of a heavily criticized leasing deal announced in 2008. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.Last week, President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators announced a major deal on infrastructure, agreeing to $1.2 trillion worth of spending on roads, public transit, and utilities. The exact details of the proposal are scant, as are clear plans on how to pay for it. But a preliminary list of nearly a dozen potential financing sources included something called “asset recycling”—a fancy term for a type of privatization that has long enticed Wall Street investors, while bringing frustration to local residents who are often left footing the bill. The term “asset recycling” appears to have been coined in Australia, when in 2013 the country’s government launched a program aimed at funding...
    Between 800 and a thousand peopleAccording to police sources, they have demonstrated this Saturday in the center of Madrid in defense of the public pension system, which they consider “in danger of privatization and precariousness due to the recommendations approved by the Toledo Pact.” The demonstration has run between Puerta del Sol and the Congress of Deputies, in parallel to another march called in fair housing defense, convened by the Madrid Housing Movement. Attendees have appealed to alternative unions and social movements “that they defend the public“to ask for” decent and sufficient “public pensions and have shown their rejection of private company pension plans because they would leave the public system” for mere charity. “ They have also shown against extending retirement to 67 years and over “while 50% of youth are unemployed” and applying the sustainability factor that adjusts pensions based on life expectancy while requiring the rise in minimum pensions up to 1,084 euros. They also demand an end to the reducing coefficients of early retirement and the repeal of the labor reform and the pension reform...
    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group of Oklahoma medical organizations filed suit Thursday seeking to stop Gov. Kevin Stitt from privatizing much of the state’s Medicaid program. The Oklahoma State Medical Association, Oklahoma Dental Association and other state medical groups filed a petition that asks the state Supreme Court to weigh in. They argue that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority proceeded with the plan without the legislative approval required to fund the proposal. “Converting the lions share of the state's Medicaid system to one primarily administered not by the agency, but rather insurance companies, is a matter of great public interest, especially in light of the acute health care challenges associated with the current pandemic already confronting citizens and medical providers," the lawsuit asserts. A spokeswoman for the agency says they’re aware of the lawsuit and confident Oklahoma law gives them the authority to develop the managed-care plan. “The Oklahoma Health Care Authority believes that applicable Oklahoma law provides full authority for its development of the plan to improve the present delivery of the Oklahoma Medicaid Program to the managed...
    Diego Ortega / NV Share on Facebook Share on twitter Share in mail Share on whatsapp “I suppose that those who stormed the Alcázar de San Juan City Hall encouraged by the left in 2014, will be reflected in the assault on the Washington Capitol. The seizure of any official building by force is just as undemocratic, whether in the US or in Alcázar ”. Statements by Diego Ortega, on January 6, 2021. Comparisons are always odious (Don Quixote II 23). Diego Ortega, neighbor: As you know, a few days ago, on the occasion of the assault on the US Capitol, the Spanish right timidly declared condemnation of the events and devised a strategy seeking equidistance, including your party, the Popular, establishing parallels in our country with what happened there. And you, obediently, bring out again the great shame to the town of Alcázar, which you starred in as mayor, without a doubt taking your feet out of the pot. You also know that in Alcázar, in 2014, there was no...
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dubai-based port operator DP World said Wednesday it would partner with an Israeli firm in a bid to take over the country's Haifa port, the largest shipping hub for the nation. DP World said in a statement it signed memorandums of understanding with DoverTower, a company owned by Shlomi Fogel, the co-owner of Israel Shipyards and the Port of Eilat. The two firms also will explore creating a direct shipping route from Dubai's massive Jebel Ali port to Eilat, the statement said. “DP World’s mission is to enable global trade,” DP World chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said. "Our work to build trade routes between the UAE, Israel and beyond will help our customers to do business in the region more easily and efficiently.” The announcement comes a day after a White House ceremony saw Israel sign deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize relations. The Israeli government in January voted to move forward with privatizing Haifa port, with the hope that its new owner would invest some $292...
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dubai-based port operator DP World said Wednesday it would partner with an Israeli firm in a bid to take over the country’s Haifa port, the largest shipping hub for the nation. DP World said in a statement it signed memorandums of understanding with DoverTower, a company owned by Shlomi Fogel, the co-owner of Israel Shipyards and the Port of Eilat. The two firms also will explore creating a direct shipping route from Dubai’s massive Jebel Ali port to Eilat, the statement said. “DP World’s mission is to enable global trade,” DP World chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said. “Our work to build trade routes between the UAE, Israel and beyond will help our customers to do business in the region more easily and efficiently.” The announcement comes a day after a White House ceremony saw Israel sign deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize relations. The Israeli government in January voted to move forward with privatizing Haifa port, with the hope that its new owner...
    Education Sec. Betsy DeVos has spent her life—and lots of her family’s money—pushing to destroy public education. And now the coronavirus pandemic is giving the Trump administration a tool to do just that, but DeVos is being all but erased from the public effort. There’s a reason for that: DeVos has been unpopular from her Senate confirmation hearing on. As people struggle with school reopening plans that are confusing, inadequate, unsafe, or all of the above, it might be counterproductive to remind them that the Trump administration’s proposed answers are in fact part of the same war against public education DeVos has been waging for a long time. “School choice,” or, in translation, funneling public money away from public schools and into private schools and privately run charter schools that don’t have to follow the same rules as public schools, was a centerpiece of the Republican National Convention (RNC). Donald Trump talked about it—lying about Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s position on charter schools—as did Melania and Don Jr., among other speakers. But while “school choice” was everywhere at the RNC, DeVos was...
    Education Sec. Betsy DeVos has spent her life—and lots of her family’s money—pushing to destroy public education. And now the coronavirus pandemic is giving the Trump administration a tool to do just that, but DeVos is being all but erased from the public effort. There’s a reason for that: DeVos has been unpopular from her Senate confirmation hearing on. As people struggle with school reopening plans that are confusing, inadequate, unsafe, or all of the above, it might be counterproductive to remind them that the Trump administration’s proposed answers are in fact part of the same war against public education DeVos has been waging for a long time. “School choice,” or, in translation, funneling public money away from public schools and into private schools and privately run charter schools that don’t have to follow the same rules as public schools, was a centerpiece of the Republican National Convention (RNC). Donald Trump talked about it—lying about Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s position on charter schools—as did Melania and Don Jr., among other speakers. But while “school choice” was everywhere at the RNC, DeVos was entirely absent,...
    Cycling: Boasson Hagen set for tenth Tour de France with NTT Pro Cycling Habits that can help you live a longer life Cities Should Sell their Airports © Aaron Foster / Getty / The Atlantic America’s airports may be mostly empty now, but they’re full of hidden potential—if local governments sell them. Yes, sell LAX and LEX and PHX and JAX. Put OKC and OAK on the block with DFW and MDW and more. U.S. cities spent billions building these airports, and although hardly anyone knows it, they’re worth billions more on the open market. Load Error That’s money American cities need. This year, revenues have cascaded out of city coffers because of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Leaders are scrambling to respond. El Paso shut down its streetcars. Chattanooga backed out of buying a new fire truck. New York City is eyeing 22,000 public-employee layoffs after a long lockdown left the city $9 billion in the hole. Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles, and many more have already furloughed workers and pared back the paychecks of those...
    Film and TV On the privatization of Covid-19 case tracking services Ana Morgade in a break from the program ‘Zapeando’ Ana Morgade was squandered last week by making a joke on Twitter about the Community of Madrid’s management of Isabel Daz Ayuso. The television, which also joked about United we can, I used the viral formula that begins with: ‘I have a joke, but … “. “I have a joke about Ayuso but it’s private“Wrote the former ‘Zapeando’ collaborator on her personal Twitter account. Morgade not only joked about Ayuso, she also did it about United we can and the Real Madrid player, Vinicius. I have a joke about Ayuso but it is private. ? ana morgade (@ana_morgade) August 2, 2020 However, she was widely criticized for deliberately attacking the president of the Community of Madrid, although she did not care. I seem to be being insulted intensely. You know what? I have been restricting harmful interactions for months, so I DON’T READ YOU HATERSIt just doesn’t exist on my Twitter, “he wrote. However, this Tuesday, when the...
    It’s a paper shuffle that could really pay off. The New York City Housing Authority unveiled plans Tuesday to boost federal funding for Gotham’s public housing by handing two-thirds of its apartments to a new city-owned corporation — but the embattled authority would still handle day-to-day operation of the units. “As the largest public housing authority in the nation, NYCHA confronts complex and unique challenges,” NYCHA chairman Greg Russ said in a statement. “Our Blueprint document offers a set of options that can position us as a stable, sustainable resource in New York City, which we have served since 1935 and will continue to serve for generations to come.” The new “blueprint” finally provides a possible future for the 110,000 units that were not covered by NYCHA’s other major revamp plan, NYCHA 2.0. That program aims to use public-private partnerships to pay for major upgrades at 62,000 apartments across the city, which account for roughly one-third of the agency’s housing stock. All told, NYCHA estimates that it will cost $40 billion to get all of its 172,000 units back...
    A study released Tuesday by the Oakland Institute details an “unprecedented wave of privatization of natural resources that is underway around the world”—one that is largely being driven by the United States and its allies. According to the progressive think tank’s report (pdf), “Driving Dispossession: The Global Push to Unlock the Economic Potential of Land,” governments around the world—particularly in developing countries—are often put under pressure by financial institutions and Western agencies to open up land for so-called “productive use” by miners, agribusiness interests, and other corporate entities intent on exploiting natural resources for profit. The U.S. in particular, the report says, is a “key player in an unfettered offensive to privatize land around the world.” With deforestation and fossil fuel extraction helping to fuel the climate crisis, governments are being pushed in a direction that’s “just the opposite of the drastic shift we need to win the struggle against climate change,” Frederic Mousseau, policy director of the Oakland Institute and lead author of the report, said in a statement. “Most of the land on our planet, especially in the Global South, is public land or land...
    With the Trump administration planning to demand that Congress devote a large chunk of the state and local education funding in the next Covid-19 relief package to a new grant program for private and religious schools, the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers on Thursday accused Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of attempting to exploit the pandemic to advance her privatization agenda. “It is telling that, after spending more than three years doing nothing to help the public schools that 90 percent of children attend, Betsy DeVos races to divert resources into private hands 48 hours after the Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a statement, referring to the high court’s ruling Tuesday that religious schools cannot be excluded from taxpayer aid programs. “With our country dealing with a pandemic, an economic recession, and structural racism, she’s spied an opening to exploit this crisis to resuscitate her failed agenda,” said Weingarten. “And it’s especially sickening that, in the middle of a national reckoning over race, when poor schools are in desperate need of funds to reopen safely, DeVos...
    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s prime minister on Friday inaugurated the start of construction work on a long-delayed major development project at the prime seaside site of the old Athens airport. Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed the start of work as a major step in the implementation of what he described as “possibly the largest project in the Mediterranean.” After his brief speech on site, bulldozers began pulling down one of the more than 200 abandoned buildings. The development of the 620-hectare (1,500-acre) Hellenikon site was a key element of the privatization drive that was part of Greece’s international bailouts. The country received billions in emergency loans to tackle a catastrophic financial crisis, but had to pass sweeping structural reforms and privatizations in return for the funds. The revamping of the airport has been mired in delays and tied up in court cases for nearly two decades, with critics of the project citing environmental and heritage concerns. Ancient cemeteries and a prehistoric settlement have been found in the area. In 2018, the Supreme Court approved the project. The old airport site...
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