Tag Archives: Capitalism

Lindsey Graham Blocks Democrats’ Attempt to Pass Supreme Court Ethics Bill

“Senate Republicans just showed how out of touch they are with what most Americans want—a Supreme Court free of corruption.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 5-13-2024 by Common Dreams

Senator Lindsey Graham speaking with attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2023 Annual Leadership Summit at the Venetian Convention & Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday blocked an attempt by Senate Democrats to pass Supreme Court reform legislation by unanimous consent, thwarting efforts to establish a binding ethics code for the nation’s top court as two of its right-wing justices come under fire for taking billionaire-funded luxury vacations and flying flags associated with the January 6 insurrection.

The Democratic legislation—titled the the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act—advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee nearly a year ago without any GOP support. The bill would give the high court 180 days to adopt a binding code of ethics and establish new recusal requirements surrounding justices’ acceptance of gifts.

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Corporate Landlords’ Profits Soar as Tenants Drown in Rent Hikes and Fees

“Through-the-roof rent hikes based on greed—not need—have kept many Americans from getting ahead,” said one advocate at Accountable.US.

By Julia Conley. Published 6-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Yn 2002, the Roosevelt began operating as a luxury apartment building (Camden Roosevelt), owned by Camden Property Trust. Photo: NCinDC/flickr.CC

With monthly inflation down to its lowest point in more than two years and heading toward the Federal Reserve’s target, the Biden administration on Wednesday celebrated “welcome progress.”

But an analysis from Accountable.US showed how more than 100 million people who rent their homes in the U.S. are not seeing the benefits of what one Biden spokesperson called “the great American comeback” in their housing costs, particularly millions of people whose homes are owned by corporate landlords.

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US Jury Holds Chiquita Liable for Colombian Death Squad’s Murder of Banana Workers

“The verdict does not bring back the husbands and sons who were killed,” said one attorney, “but it sets the record straight and places accountability for funding terrorism where it belongs: at Chiquita’s doorstep.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Then-AUC commander Carlos Castaño is seen here with some of his paramilitary fighters. Photo: Carlos Castaño Gil/Facebook

In what case litigants are calling the first time an American jury has held a U.S. corporation legally liable for atrocities abroad, federal jurors in Florida on Monday found that Chiquita Brands International financed a Colombian paramilitary death squad that murdered, tortured, and terrorized workers in a bid to crush labor unrest in the 1990s and 2000s.

The federal jury in West Palm Beach, Florida found the banana giant responsible for funding the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and awarded eight families whose members were murdered by the right-wing paramilitary group $38.3 million in damages.

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Is Shell’s exit from Nigeria a front to dodge legal responsibilities?

The oil giant is selling its Niger Delta subsidiary – but lending the new owners the money for the purchase

By Andy Rowell and James Marriot Published 6-6-2024 by openDemocracy

Damaged trees in the Niger Delta following the 2008 Bodo oil spill. Photo: Sosialistisk Ungdom (SU)/flickr/CC

Nigerian activists believe Shell’s apparent end to its 87-year operation in the country is an effort to avoid its legal responsibilities while holding onto the potentially profitable side of the business.

In January, the oil giant revealed it had “reached an agreement to sell its Nigerian onshore subsidiary” to Renaissance, a consortium of four Nigerian oil firms and one based in Switzerland.

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Scientists Blockade EU Commission Offices to Demand Degrowth

Amid elections in Europe, opponents of ongoing planetary destruction argue that the “science is clear: politicians’ obsession with infinite economic growth is leading us straight to disaster.”

By Edward Carver. Published 6-7-2024 by Common Dreams

Degrowth advocates from Scientist Rebellion and affiliated groups blocked the entryway to the European Commission office in Brussels on June 7, 2024. Using posters, they wrote a slogan, “The future is degrowth,” onto the building’s facade. (Photo: Growth Kills)

A group of about 20 scientists and allies on Friday blocked the doors to the European Commission office in Brussels to demand degrowth policies as European Union elections unfold in which no party has such an agenda and pro-environment candidates are expected to lose seats.

The degrowth advocates, who came from Scientist Rebellion and affiliated groups, called for the EU to stop using Gross Domestic Product as an index of prosperity and an end to “over-consumption and the advertising that drives it,” among other demands. Carrying placards with messages such as “Green growth is a myth,” they prevented employees of the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, from getting to work Friday morning, they said in an emailed statement.

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ISDS Courts Have Helped Fossil Fuel Firms Rake In $80 Billion in Public Money

“ISDS is the secret weapon for fossil fuel companies against climate laws,” said one advocate.

By Julia Conley. Published 6-6-2024 by Common Dreams

Demonstration against the TTIP and ISDS in 2016. Photo: War on Want

A week after the European Union announced its withdrawal from the controversial Energy Charter Treaty, which has been criticized for being one of many global agreements that allow fossil fuel companies to sue governments, a coalition on Thursday released an analysis showing just how lucrative such deals have been for firms whose emissions are wrecking havoc on the planet.

The Transnational Institute, the Trade Justice Movement (TJM), Power Shift, and the Institute for Policy Studies joined forces to unveil the Global ISDS Tracker, which includes data on more than 1,300 cases that have made their way to secretive tribunals set up by investor-state dispute mechanisms in treaties including the Energy Charter Treaty.

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UN Chief Calls for Global Ban on Fossil Fuel Advertising

“There is no longer any cover for agencies to say that they are doing the right thing when working with polluters,” said one campaigner. “Everyone knows this is wrong, and everyone needs to act.”

By Julia Conley. Published 6-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Over 100,000 marched in Vancouver in solidarity with the youth of the world in the September 27, 2019 Climate Strike.. Photo::Chris Yakimov/flickr/CC

Despite the grim news that scientists on Wednesday reported last month as the hottest May on record globally, marking 12 straight months with record-breaking heat, climate advocates expressed optimism after United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres signaled what one called a “game-changing intervention,” urging governments to ban advertisements by fossil fuel firms.

The demand is in line with prohibitions on advertising for other “products that harm human health—like tobacco,” said Guterres.

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Sanders Praises $35 Cap on Inhalers Just Six Months After Probe Into ‘Outrageous’ Prices

“Americans who have asthma and COPD should not be forced to pay, in many cases, 10 to 70 times more for the same exact inhalers as patients in Europe and other parts of the world,” said the independent senator from Vermont.

By Jon Queally. Published 6-2-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: NBC News

Less than six months after launching a probe in the U.S. Senate into “the outrageously high prices” that asthma patients and others across the country pay for inhalers, Sen. Bernie Sanders celebrated the official start of a new program by one of the largest makers in the industry on Saturday to cap out of pocket costs at $35.

Sanders (I-Vt.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said Saturday was “the first day of a new program instituted by the major pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, which will allow people with asthma and COPD to purchase brand name inhalers at their local drugstore or pharmacy for only $35 dollars.”

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Latin America shows why ecocide must be an international crime

Every state has an interest in prosecuting those who destroy our planet – we must ensure there are no ‘safe havens’

By Rodrigo Lledó. Published 5-21-2024 by openDemocracy

A lithium mine in Chile Photo: Reinhard Jahn/CC

Before leaving power in 1990, Chilean general and dictator Augusto Pinochet created a legal framework that guaranteed him absolute impunity. It didn’t work. He was arrested on charges of genocide and terrorism in London in 1998 by order of the Spanish justice system and, upon his return to Chile, finally had to face justice.

Years later, I had the opportunity to lead a team of public lawyers trying nearly 900 cases of crimes against humanity during the Chilean dictatorship. Though Pinochet was already dead, his accomplices had to be duly judged. But decades after his rule, human rights continue to be routinely violated in Latin America, often for defending the environment.

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‘Consumers Win’ as Supreme Court Rejects ‘Radical’ Attack on CFPB

Amid celebrations over the ruling, one legal expert warned, “Don’t confuse ‘SCOTUS slaps down a wackadoodle 5th Circuit decision’ with ‘SCOTUS is more moderate than its critics claim.'”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra. Screenshot: CNBC

Legal experts and progressive advocates on Thursday applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision to uphold the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding mechanism but also cautioned against praising the far-right justices.

While Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented, fellow right-winger Clarence Thomas penned the opinion in CFPB v. Consumer Financial Services Association of America, joined by the other three conservatives and three liberals—two of whom wrote concurring opinions.

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