Swiss women strike for gender equality | Euronews


Women across Switzerland are striking on Friday to denounce slow progress on tackling the gender pay gap and inequalities.

The movement echoes a similar protest held in 1991 in which some 500,000 women took part and which led to the adoption five years later of the Gender Equality Act. The legislation banned workplace discrimination and sexual harassment with the aim of “furthering true equality between women and men”.

But 28 years after their first strike, Swiss women continue to denounce the persistently-high gender pay gap under the slogan “Pay, time, respect!”

19.6%

According to data from the country’s Federal Statistics Office, Swiss women earn 19.6% less than their male counterpart. While that is down by nearly a third since the first strike, the discrimination gap — the differences that cannot be explained by rank or role — has actually worsened since 2000.

The International Labour Organisation also found last month that the country is near the bottom of the list when it comes to the wage gap between men and women in senior roles. Only Italy, Kazakhstan and Israel were deemed worse across Europe and Central Asia.

The Women’s Strike Zurich Collective, which co-organised Friday’s movement, wrote in a manifesto: “We’re striking because women earn less for the same work, are passed over for promotions, are hardly represented at the executive level and because typically female jobs are poorly paid.”

 

Source: Swiss women strike for gender equality | Euronews

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Rasmus Paludan: Meet the far-right leader who wants to deport all Muslims from Denmark | Euronews


Convicted of racism, accused of Nazi ties, known for burnings of the Quran… and about to become a Danish MP?

Danish lawyer Rasmus Paludan was little known a few months ago but his far-right party has gained traction ahead of a general election on June 5.

His political movement — Stram Kurs (Hard Line) — calls itself the party for “ethnic Danes”, wants to ban Islam and deport all Muslims from Denmark.

His party is forecast to win 2.3%, according to a recent poll published by Voxmeter, which would be enough to enter parliament.

Hard Line’s rise comes as support for the country’s biggest nationalist movement, Danish People’s Party, has fallen.

“Hard Line’s only agenda is to be extremely tough on refugees, immigrants and Muslims in particular, and that attracts a small group of voters who think anti-immigration policies can always get harder and more radical,” said elections specialist and professor of political science at Copenhagen University, Kasper Møller Hansen.

Since founding his party in July 2017, Paludan has earned a following on YouTube and Snapchat but in recent months he emerged from virtual stardom among teenagers to securing election candidacy by gathering the required 20,000 digital signatures of endorsement from voters.

In April, a Danish court found Paludan guilty of racism after he argued that people from Africa are less intelligent.

Paludan said in a December 2018 video: “The enemy is Islam and Muslims. The best thing would be if there were not a single Muslim left on this earth. Then we would have reached our final goal.”

The foundation of Hard Line is “ethnonationalism” and Paludan says you need at least two grandparents of Danish origins to prove you are Danish.

Martin Krasnik, editor-in-chief of the Danish newspaper “Weekendavisen”, called Paludan a Nazi in a recent editorial. He said that Paludan is “clearly familiar with the Nuremberg laws” from Nazi-era Germany.

Paludan denies having any associations with Nazism.

 

Source: Rasmus Paludan: Meet the far-right leader who wants to deport all Muslims from Denmark | Euronews

Remembering the US soldiers who refused orders to murder Native Americans at Sand Creek : The Conversation


Every Thanksgiving weekend for the past 18 years, Arapaho and Cheyenne youth lead a 180-mile relay from the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site to Denver.

The annual Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run opens at the site of the Sand Creek Massacre near Eads, Colorado, with a sunrise ceremony honoring some 200 Arapaho and Cheyenne people who lost their lives in the infamous massacre. This brutal assault was carried out by Colonel John Chivington on Nov. 29, 1864.

While the Sand Creek massacre has been the subject of numerous books, much less attention has been given to two heroes of this horrific event: U.S. soldiers Captain Silas Soule and Lt. Joseph Cramer.

 

Source: Remembering the US soldiers who refused orders to murder Native Americans at Sand Creek : The Conversation

Welfare shake-up ‘will double number of children in poverty’


The number of children in families that have a monthly deficit is set to double. 

Flagship welfare reforms will trigger a big increase in families unable to make ends meet, new analysis reveals. The number of children living in families that have a monthly deficit will double in some areas, because of the combined impact of universal credit, a two-child limit on some welfare payments and the benefits cap.

The research, produced for the children’s commissioner, found that a quarter of children in its sample would be hit by the measures. Almost half of low-income households examined were affected, losing on average £3,441 a year.

Charities and researchers are already warning of rising child poverty. Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, has been attempting to soften the government’s reforms, putting more money into universal credit, limiting the two-child policy and sanctioning fewer claimants.

However, the Policy in Practice consultancy found that the combined effects of the three welfare reforms still meant that 25% of children in its study were in low-income families who would be unable to make ends meet. Without the policies, only 13% would be in households spending more than their income. Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England, said: “The two-child cap penalises children who can’t choose their birth order or the number of siblings their parents are having. Putting children in a position where they are worse off through no fault of their own is morally wrong and risks damaging the life chances of already vulnerable children.”

Adam Corlett, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said that welfare cuts announced four years ago kicked in only last month. “These cuts are the culmination of a significant retrenchment of support with children,” he said. “The result is more children living in poverty. Absolute child poverty rose last year, and we expect relative child poverty to rise in the years ahead.”

The new analysis looked at families receiving housing benefit and help with their council tax across 19 councils. It covered a sample of 128,119 households with 257,648 children, but the findings may not be representative of the country as a whole.

Govt Newspeak

Half of low-income families will lose thousands of pounds a year, warns new study
Hartlepool, England
 The number of children in families that have a monthly deficit is set to double. 

Flagship welfare reforms will trigger a big increase in families unable to make ends meet, new analysis reveals. The number of children living in families that have a monthly deficit will double in some areas, because of the combined impact of universal credit, a two-child limit on some welfare payments and the benefits cap.

The research, produced for the children’s commissioner, found that a quarter of children in its sample would be hit by the measures. Almost half of low-income households examined were affected, losing on average £3,441 a year.

Charities and researchers are already warning of rising child poverty. Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, has been attempting to soften the government’s reforms, putting more money into universal…

View original post 840 more words

MP’s inquiry call into DWP pension ‘error’ Flintshire woman suicide


Yes, mistakes do occur, but not with such regularity. It would appear that the DWP are making a quest to make mistakes.

Then we hear the immortal phrase ‘Lessons will be learnt’, but will they. This is a phrase we have all heard for at least the last 50 years in many Central and Local Government departments and have any lessons been learnt, I doubt it.

For lessons to be learned there has to be willingness to learn and this Government has no willingness, just the opposite.

Govt Newspeak

Joy WorrallJoy Worrall had said she would “throw herself off the quarry” if she was ever in ill health or financial difficulty, the hearing was told

An urgent inquiry is needed into the death of an 82-year-old woman who took her own life after her state pension was stopped in “error”, an MP has said.

Joy Worrall was found dead in a quarry near her Flintshire home in November after an “administrative error” by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) led to her pension stopping.

Her local MP David Hanson said he had written to Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd to demand an investigation. The DWP has previously apologised.

Labour MP for Delyn Mr Hanson said he was “horrified” by the case. He said Ms Worrall had been “living in poverty” and “being too proud to ask for help and support” she then took her own life.

DWP lacks ‘compassion’ and…

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The UN is worried by UK austerity – so how do we end it? • The Progressive Economy Forum


The UN has just issued a damning report on the UK’s policy failures over the past eight years, cataloguing and condemning the “unnecessary misery” inflicted on people in the name of austerity. The Progressive Economy Forum seeks to offer an alternative vision for economic leadership by curating a new blog series, 100 Policies to End Austerity. Council member and editor of the series Dr Johnna Montgomerie and PEF economist Michael Davies write.

The UN is (still) worried by UK austerity

Earlier this month, Professor Philip Alston embarked on a two-week tour of the UK – not to give lectures or to present at conferences, as one might expect of a visiting academic, but rather to investigate the UK in his official capacity as the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

Over the course of his inquiry, Alston spoke to politicians of all stripes; met with civil society groups, community organisations and front line workers; and most notably, listened first-hand to the testimonies of people living in poverty. On Friday 16 November, the UN published a statement summarising his findings – one which can only be described as an excoriation of austerity.

Before moving on to these findings, it is worth noting that this isn’t the first time British austerity has been the object of such UN scrutiny. In 2015-6, the UK had the honour of being the first country investigated by the UN over “grave and systemic violations of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. The investigating committee found that welfare ‘reforms’ – e.g. changes to Housing Benefit entitlement, the closure of the Independent Living Fund – enacted by the Conservatives in the name of austerity had indeed led to grave and systemic violations of disabled people’s rights.

But of course, the Government rejected all the recommendations made by the committee to rectify the situation.

Findings of the UN inquiry

 

Source: The UN is worried by UK austerity – so how do we end it? • The Progressive Economy Forum

High Court finds Universal Credit migration arrangements unlawful : Welfare Weekly


The High Court has ruled that the government’s Universal Credit migration arrangements for those who previously received the Severe Disability Premium and moved onto Universal Credit before 16 January 2019 are unlawful.

If the arrangements had been allowed to go ahead they would have left over 10,000 severely disabled people around a £100-a-month worse off.

The case was brought by two men with severe disabilities, known as TP & AR, represented by Leigh Day and a woman, known as SXC, also with severe disabilities represented by Central England Law Centre.

 

Source: High Court finds Universal Credit migration arrangements unlawful : Welfare Weekly

The US white majority will soon disappear forever : The Conversation


Since the settlement of Jamestown in 1607 and the start of the Colonial period, the U.S. has been predominantly white.

But the white share of the U.S. population has been dropping, from a little under 90% in 1950 to 60% in 2018. It will likely drop below 50% in another 25 years.

White nationalists want America to be white again. But this will never happen. America is on its way to becoming predominantly nonwhite.

Who is white?

The U.S. federal government uses two questions to measure a person’s race and ethnicity. One asks if the person is of Hispanic origin, and the other asks about the person’s race.

A person is defined as white if he or she identifies as being only white and non-Hispanic. A minority, or nonwhite, person is anyone who is not solely non-Hispanic white.

 

Source: The US white majority will soon disappear forever : The Conversation

MP accused of holding Universal Credit claimants to ransom after payment delays


Rather than puting amendments through for the regulations for Universal Credit the DWP should abandon this welfare benefit and return to the old benefits

Govt Newspeak

READING MP Alok Sharma has been accused of holding thousands of disabled people to ransom over delays to their Universal Credit (UC) payments. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Minister came under fire from rival politicians, with the new benefits system also facing criticism.

Alok Sharma MP

Mr Sharma warned MPs that vulnerable people would not be able to access the support they needed, admitting 10,000 severely disabled people were still waiting. Labour MP Ruth George said: “You’re basically holding 10,000 disabled people to ransom to try and force the house to agree to your regulations overall.

“It sounds very much like you’re trying to blackmail members of this house.” The Reading West MP has previously been criticised for comments he made about the revamped system, suggesting it would encourage self-employed people to ‘be more productive.’

Mr Sharma immediately defended his position, insisting he was not attempting to ‘railroad’ his policies through. He added: “That is…

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Trump Directs Officials to Toughen Asylum Rules : Independent Journal Review


U.S. President Donald Trump directed officials to toughen rules for asylum seekers on Monday, including by introducing a fee for their applications and barring those who entered the country illegally from working until their claims are approved.

The moves are the latest effort by the Trump administration to stem a growing number of migrants crossing the U.S. southern border, many of whom then seek asylum in the United States. Many of the changes would be dramatic shifts in how asylum seekers are treated, but would also require time-intensive regulatory procedures before they go into effect, which will likely take months.

Trump administration officials have repeatedly blamed U.S. laws protecting asylum seekers for encouraging fraudulent or non-deserving claims.

But immigrant advocates say the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict asylum protections harms people legitimately seeking refuge from violence and persecution.

On Monday, Trump signed a presidential memorandum that directed the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to, within 90 days, introduce a slew of new regulations tightening asylum policy, including one setting a fee for asylum applications, which are currently free to file.

 

Source: Trump Directs Officials to Toughen Asylum Rules : Independent Journal Review