Venezuela’s Parliament session got heated on Tuesday, with literal fistfights breaking out, leaving at least seven legislators bruised and bloodied. The fighting stems from the opposition party’s refusal to acknowledge President Nicolás Maduro -- Hugo Chávez’s hand-picked successor -- as the winner of the April 14 election. “They can beat us, jail us, kill us, but we will not sell out our principles,” said Julio Borges, one of the opposition’s legislators. Both sides accused the other of starting the melee, which turned violent after the National Assembly (controlled by Maduro’s party) passed a measure refusing to allow the opposition the right to speak until they recognized Maduro as president.
Watch: New Zealand parliament has voted to make same-sex marriage legal.Those in the public gallery broke into applause and cheered as it was announced the vote passed with 77 votes to 44. They then broke into song.
New Zealand became the 13th nation in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize gay marriage after the country’s Parliament approved a bill Monday, voting 77–44. Cheers erupted in the hall as the votes were counted after two hours of debate, which featured one legislator talking about her daughter’s first formal with her girlfriend. “Like countless other young women, she hopes for love, marriage, children and a house with a white picket fence,” Mojo Mathers said to applause. One M.P. who voted against the bill said he had become more open to gay marriage since being elected, but added that “our society is probably more divided than this House is on this issue.”
Same-sex marriage is now legal in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay.
Same-sex marriage legislation is pending in Britain and France.
Same-sex marriage is only allowed in nine U.S. states, Washington DC, and parts of Brazil and Mexico.
Dissatisfied with the country’s worsening economic troubles and displeased with proposed austerity measures, thousands of demonstrators clashed with police in Madrid Tuesday. The protesters formed a human chain around the parliament building while police fired bullets at and beat the most violent in the crowd with truncheons. At least 22 people were arrested while 32 were injured, including four policeman. The protest was timed to the new 2013 budget, which will be announced by the government Thursday and includes cuts in inflation-linked pensions, taxes on stock transactions, the implantation of green taxes, and the elimination of several tax breaks. The region of Catalonia, which is responsible for 20 percent of the national output, called for an early election on Nov. 25 that could lead to a referendum on secession.
The job of bankers is to assess risk. They are supposed to look at all the factors, and price a loan accordingly. If you have a credit card with very high risk, you might pay in the 20% range! This way the banks can lend out the money, and even if a large percentage of the borrowers default, they still do OK. They are expecting a certain default rate, they price accordingly, they do OK on the loan portfolio.
Same for when they lend to countries. They price loans according to the default risk, and over the lifetime of the loans they are supposed to get their money back plus some return, even with the expected defaults. If the banks screwed up and didn't price their loans correctly, this doesn't make the people of Greece lazy, etc. it makes the bankers incompetent.
OR the bankers did price correctly, and over the lifetimes of all of their loans they are getting their money back and a return, AND they are also taking advantage of the situation to get more, make a killing, force privatization, force wages down, get rid of that pesky democracy that has been in the way, etc.
So here we are again, with the elites in the position of being either stupid (incompetent) or evil. And with the people in misery as a result, while the elites do just fine for themselves. With the added bonus for the elites that the experiment of wresting control from the elites and to the people -- democracy -- ending.
Protests in Athens have turned violent as protesters clash with police on Wednesday. A demonstration outside of Parliament deteriorated when anarchists began throwing gasoline bombs and pieces of concrete at riot police. Police in turn fired tear gas at demonstrators. An estimated 50,000 people have joined the strike, which is the first trade union–led action since a conservative government came to power in June. Protesters have been demonstrating against planned spending cuts of $15 billion, which are required if Greece is to receive its next round of bailout funds, without which the country could go bankrupt in weeks.
Bank employees in India are on a two-day strike. They are protesting against the new banking law amendment act that is being presented in parliament. This law allows foreign investment and also eases mergers in the banking sector among other issues.
In fact they are protesting against economic liberalization in the banking sector and demanding improved working conditions.
ALLIES of global hacker group Anonymous have put on their masks and picked up litter in a Tokyo park as a protest against tough illegal download laws.
The 80-strong collective said yesterday's busy bee was a protest against Japan's tougher laws against illegal downloads.
In light rain, they took part in an "anonymous cleaning service" for one hour in a park and on pavements in the shopping and entertainment hub of Shibuya, a change from the group's trademark website attacks.
They were dressed in black and wore masks of Guy Fawkes, the central figure in England's 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up parliament, which have become a symbol of protests by the loosely linked alliance around the world.
The group said that cyber attacks are the work of other global Anonymous networks in the global internet community, and that they prefer "constructive and productive solutions."
"We want to make our fellow citizens aware of the problem with a productive message."
Lawmakers backed drastic cuts in wages, pensions and jobs on Sunday as the price of a 130 billion euro ($170 billion) bailout by the European Union and International Monetary Fund to avert a messy default that would send shockwaves through the euro zone.
The cuts include a 22 percent reduction in the minimum wage and 150,000 jobs from the public sector workforce by 2015.
Scenes of running battles between police and rioters and flames engulfing cinemas, shops and banks underscored a sense of deepening turmoil in the country after more than four years of recession and two of punishing austerity.
The riots spread to Greece's second city of Thessaloniki, towns across the country and the islands of Crete and Corfu. In all, 150 shops were looted in the capital and 93 buildings set ablaze, wrecked or seriously damaged.
About 100 people - including 68 police - were wounded and 130 detained.
Athens city authorities said some of the wrecked buildings were of particular cultural, historic and architectural value.
The Attikon cinema, housed in a neo-classical building dating from 1870, was left a blackened shell.
The rioters were a minority, say various reports, yet others claim they numbered over 100,000 and spoke to the groundswell of anger among Greeks who say their living standards are already collapsing and more austerity will only deepen their misery.
Unemployment in Greece reached 20.9 percent in November, and half of young Greeks are jobless.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, photographs began circulating that identify several members of Greek parliament who were relaxing and watching a football game allegedly as the city of Athens burned.