Brazilian Coup Threatens Democracy and National Sovereignty

Center for Economic and Policy Research

Mark Weisbrot

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is now threatened with impeachment, but there is no evidence that she is linked to the “Lava Jato“ scandal, or any other corruption. Rather, she is accused of an accounting manipulation that somewhat misrepresented the fiscal position of the government — something that prior presidents have done. To borrow an analogy from the United States, when the Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling in the U.S. in 2013, the Obama administration used a number of accounting tricks to postpone the deadline at which the limit was reached. Nobody cared.

The impeachment campaign — which the government has correctly labelled a coup — is an effort by Brazil’s traditional elite to obtain by other means what they have not been able to win at the ballot box for the past 12 years. Former president Lula is accused of receiving money from corporations for speeches, and for renovations to a property that he claims he did not own. But even if these accusations are true, there is no evidence of a crime or even a link to corruption. The alleged events took place after Lula left the presidency — and again, as in the U.S., former officials can legally get paid for speeches. Yet Judge Sergio Moro, who is leading the investigation, has led a well-executed smear campaign against Lula. He had to apologize to the Supreme Court for releasing wiretapped phone conversations between Lula and Dilma, Lula and his attorney, and even Lula’s wife and their children. Continue reading Brazilian Coup Threatens Democracy and National Sovereignty

Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram seen in video

Al Jazeera

niggirls
Nigeria girls worry about abducted classmates

About 15 girls seen in video obtained by government two years after almost 300 of them were kidnapped by Boko Haram.

A new video has emerged showing some of the missing schoolgirls kidnapped by the armed group Boko Haram in Nigeria two years ago, providing hope to parents that their daughters are still alive.

About 15 girls featured in the video obtained by the Nigerian government, saying they were from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok and pleading with the government to cooperate with Boko Haram on their release.

Boko Haram fighters abducted 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014, with 57 pupils managing to escape but 219 still missing. Continue reading Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram seen in video

Major church investors declare support for climate change resolution at ExxonMobil AGM

Independent Catholic News

Institutional investors with more than six trillion US dollars (4.21 trillion pounds) under management have declare they will support a shareholder proposal urging ExxonMobil to disclose the impact of climate change policy on its business.

The resolution was co-filed by the Church Commissioners for England and New York State Comptroller Thomas P DiNapoli as Trustee of New York State Common Retirement Fund. It asks Exxon to disclose how resilient its portfolio and strategy would be were policy measures to restrict global warming to 2 degrees, as agreed in Paris in December 2015, to be successful.

The resolution will be put before ExxonMobil’s AGM on 25 May. More than 30 institutional investors have declared that they will vote for the motion so far, including major fund managers and pension funds Amundi, AXA Investment Management, BNP Paribas, CalPERS, Legal & General Investment Management, Natixis, New York City Retirement Fund and Schroder’s.

Edward Mason, Head of Responsible Investment for the Church Commissioners, said: “We are delighted with the scale of support this resolution has received so far. The resolution is part of a much wider trend following the Paris Agreement for investors to ask companies to improve disclosure on how they are positioned for the risks and opportunities posed by climate change.” Continue reading Major church investors declare support for climate change resolution at ExxonMobil AGM