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Latest news headlines from Reuters

Seymour on National’s backward slide on property rights

A reader noted that Whaleoil has been doing “hits” on the government a lot lately. Some attribute that to my dislike of John Key. Others think I’m being petulant.

Not so. National is slowly but surely drifting away from the core principles it is meant to promote and defend.

With an election looming where voters are getting tired of National, but can’t stomach Labour (just yet), National need to protect their own voter base lest it be diluted by people moving their “protest” vote to ACT and NZ First.

 

Socialism is a great social experiment…that ends in misery

Venezuela is collapsing as their grand socialist experiment crashes and burns.

The fight for food has begun in Venezuela. On any day, in cities across this increasingly desperate nation, crowds form to sack supermarkets. Protesters take to the streets to decry the skyrocketing prices and dwindling supplies of basic goods. The wealthy improvise, some shopping online for food that arrives from Miami. Middle-class families make do with less: coffee without milk, sardines instead of beef, two daily meals instead of three. The poor are stripping mangoes off the trees and struggling to survive.

“This is savagery,” said Pedro Zaraza, a car-oil salesman who watched a mob mass on Friday outside a supermarket, where it was eventually dispersed by the army. “The authorities are losing their grip.”

What has been a slow-motion crisis in Venezuela seems to be careening into a new, more dangerous phase. The long economic decline of the country with the world’s largest oil reserves now shows signs of morphing into a humanitarian emergency, with government mismanagement and low petroleum prices leading to widespread shortages and inflation that could surpass 700 percent this year.

When there is a power vacuum people generally die hard.

The political stakes are mounting. Exhausted by government-imposed power blackouts, spiraling crime, endless food lines, shortages of medicine and waves of looting and protest, citizens are mobilizing against their leaders. In recent days, Venezuelans lined up to add their names to a recall petition that aims to bring down the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, and put an end to the socialist-inspired “revolution” ignited 17 years ago by Hugo Chávez.

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Greenpeace told to drop opposition to GE by more than 100 Nobel laureates

This is ironic. The organisation that tells us we should accept climate science, that the science is settled and other such statements, is now being told the same thing about GE crops and foods, by eminent scientists who are also Nobel laureates.

More than 100 Nobel laureates have called on international environmental group Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetically modified crops, saying there is a scientific consensus they are safe and can benefit society.

At a news conference, the scientists cited in particular the value of a genetically modified rice used to prevent some illnesses related to vitamin A deficiency in much of the developing world.

“Golden Rice” produces beta carotene in the grain, which rice does not do in the natural world.   Read more »

More bullying from troughing mayor

alistair-sowman-marlborough-mayor-nzh copy

One late night email was followed by an even later night email. It looks like Mayor Sowman doesn’t like being challenged and is threatening someone who has the gall to call him out over spending. Following his 10.30pm email covered here, Mayor Sowman, who is sounding more and more like Andrew Williams by the day, sends another one. Note all the CCs.  Read more »

Corbyn’s anti-Semitism rises

Jeremy Corbyn rinsed Ken Livingstone for his anti-Semitic comments, but went light on many others. Now, however, he is embroiled in his own anti-Semitic comments  after comparing Israel to ISIS.

Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of comparing the Israeli state to terrorist groups including Isis in a speech on combating antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The embattled Labour leader was speaking after the launch of a report by the former director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti.

“Modern antisemitism may not always be about overt violence and persecution, though there is too much of that even to this day. We must also be vigilant against subtler and invidious manifestations of this nasty ancient hatred and avoid slipping into its traps by accident or intent,” Mr Corbyn said.

“Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organisations.”

Many listeners equated Mr Corbyn’s comments with a direct comparison between the Israeli government and Isis, which calls itself the “Islamic State”.

The Afghan Taliban also styles itself as the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” and countless other Islamist terror groups are waging insurgencies to build their own states governed under a fundamentalist interpretation of Sharia law, including Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Sam Stopp, a Labour councillor in Wembley, said Mr Corbyn had “compared Israel to Isis”, writing on Twitter: “For that alone, he should resign. I am red with fury.”

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