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Five new cadres assigned to Shanxi, all from outside the province

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Communist Party headquarters in Beijing has assigned five cadres to Shanxi to fill the vacancies in its top leadership after an extensive anti-graft campaign swept across the resource-rich province. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Ex-president Jiang sits with Xi and others for anniversary concert

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Former president Jiang Zemin made a rare public appearance as retired top Communist Party leaders joined President Xi Jinping and other current dignitaries at a concert that marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Parallels between Tiananmen Square and Hong Kong too obvious to ignore

What happens in Hong Kong over the coming days will tell us a lot about where China is heading in the era of Xi Jinping

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LIVE REPORT: Tens of thousands occupy Hong Kong’s streets for a second night of protest

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Good evening and welcome to the SCMP’s live coverage of the Hong Kong Occupy Central protests. Tens of thousands of people are now occupying streets across the city, demanding democratic reforms from Beijing. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Conservative defector: I may lose

Mark Reckless, the Conservative MP who defected to UKIP on Saturday, acknowledges he may lose the resulting by-election.

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Photos of Chinese navy’s new supply ship leaked online

<!– google_ad_section_start –> The Chinese military may be building a new type of resupply ship, according newly surfaced photos, as the country’s navy seeks to shore up its ocean-going capabilities. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Lenin statue torn down in Ukraine

Nationalist protesters tear down a statue of Lenin in the centre of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, with officials backing its removal.

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Getting the tycoons onside is important business for Beijing

<!– google_ad_section_start –> When 70 business heavyweights met top leaders in Beijing last week, including President Xi Jinping, the media naturally focused on the political implications of the trip. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Politics no longer under doctor’s skin

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Dermatologist Dr Louis Shih Tai-cho has decided that politics may not, after all, be his cup of tea. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Foreign minister Wang Yi calls truth in history, with eye to Japan, in UN speech

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Foreign Minister Wang Yi repeated an assertion that no one should distort history and that “aggression should not be denied” in an apparent reference to Japan in a speech on Saturday. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Reaction to Scots’ vote, Uygur scholar’s jailing show why China’s different

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Mainland Chinese could be excused for feeling puzzled about two recent news events – the Scottish referendum on independence from the United Kingdom and the life prison term handed to Uygur scholar Ilham Tohti for separatism. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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National Liquor Days Are a Joke

What started as an attempt to educate drinkers has turned into a PR circus, a way to get more people to drink margaritas during the cold “off” season. The madness must end.

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Google Workshops Explain Sexism to “Skeptical” Employees

Google has been trying to build cars that drive without humans for longer than it’s been trying to hire more women and minorities. But the company really knows it audience. Workshops at the center of its diversity initiative were specifically designed for one personality type: “a skeptical, scientifically minded Google employee,” says the New York Times.Read more…

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Blow to Widodo as lawmakers scrap direct elections for local leaders

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo accused his opponents yesterday of stealing “people’s political rights” after the outgoing legislature voted to scrap the direct election of local officials. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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How Early Americans Imagined Hell

For most of a century, until the carnage of the Civil War gave people something to really worry about, the idea of eternal damnation was a national obsession across America.

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MPs to vote on IS Iraq air strikes

The House of Commons will vote later on whether the UK should join in US-led air strikes on Islamic State in Iraq.

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Curry spice ‘helps brain self-heal’

An early study in rats suggests the spice turmeric may help boost the brain’s ability to repair and regenerate itself.

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Xinjiang says 50 dead, 54 injured in Luntai county terror attacks

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Xinjiang official media said last night that 50 people, including 40 suspected assailants, were killed in what the authorities called a terror attack over the weekend in the restive region. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Chinese man accused of raping another man walks free due to loophole in criminal law

<!– google_ad_section_start –> A Chongqing man accused of kidnapping and raping another man has been released with nothing but a slap on the wrist, which experts said exposed the need for Chinese law to recognise male rape. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Detroit’s Water Shut-Offs at the Center of Bankruptcy Proceedings

Glen Ford is a distinguished radio-show host and commentator. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America’s Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. Ford co-founded the Black Commentator in 2002 and in 2006 he launched the Black Agenda Report. Ford is also the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion. TRANSCRIPT: SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. The City of Detroit’s bankruptcy proceedings are now hearing testimony on the mass water shutoffs. Detroit’s water department defended its shutoff policy on Monday and warned that free service to people with unpaid bills could be very devastating to the bottom line of the city. What about the bottom line of the citizens? Whose side is the city on? Now joining us to provide his report is Glen Ford. Glen Ford is the executive editor of the Black Agenda Report. And, Glen, thank you for joining us today. GLEN FORD, EXEC. EDITOR, BLACK AGENDA REPORT: Thank you. PERIES: So, Glen, what’s in your notebook today on Detroit? FORD: Well, you said that the city is speaking on behalf of its citizens before that federal bankruptcy judge. And everybody uses that language. But we must remind everyone as well that the emergency manager of Detroit, imposed on the city, appointed by the Republican governor, is acting as the city. So even the fundamentals of the story are confusing and in many ways have people looking in the wrong direction. The city, that is, the emergency financial manager, says that if they were to halt the cutoffs of water to thousands of poorer Detroiters, it wouldn’t be fair. It would be fair to the bondholders of the city water department. In other words, the city’s water department is more beholden to the rich individuals and institutions that hold the bonds than it is to its own citizens, even in the case of a vital life-giving resource such as water. And that really, I think, is where the battle line has been drawn, and not just in Detroit, but across the nation and across the entire planet in this late stage of capitalism that some people call neoliberalism, in which the corporations are trying to swallow up all the resources of the world, public and private, for their own use. And so this story goes beyond the basic inequities in Detroit regarding water. The fact that although thousands–and tens of thousands, in fact–of poor households have been targeted for cutoff of their water, mainly businesses have been left alone, businesses that own millions of dollars in back water bills. But they’re not threatened. And I think what we’re actually seeing in the guise of defending the bottom line of the Detroit water department is a continuation of the ethnic cleansing of Detroit, the ethnic and economic cleansing of the city, trying to get rid of all these poor people in Detroit so that a better business environment can be created. PERIES: Glen, hold on for second. Are you saying that there’s businesses with unpaid water bills that are getting away with not paying, and their businesses aren’t being shut down? FORD: Yes. Chrysler owns about owes about half a million dollars. Lots of other big businesses also have huge bills. And the state of Michigan, the state that appointed to the emergency financial manager who is speaking on behalf of Detroit, the state of Michigan owes more than $4 million to the Detroit water department. So these cutoffs are quite selective in terms of the class of customer that’s being cut off.Also, in thousands of cases, the water leaks that are just draining away the resource are actually emanating from the foreclosed homes, homes that were–in which the people who live in them were put out because they couldn’t keep up with their mortgages, and so those homes were foreclosed, but often with water still running. The city of Detroit, or the emergency financial manager, did not see fit when they were doing their much vaunted blight survey to go into those houses and turn off the water. So we kept on draining the precious resource. Now, obviously, the water is not so important as the mission of getting rid of these poor people. But back again to the fundamental problem that underlies all of this: if the water department in Detroit, which is still public, is actually accountable to the people who own the bonds, then it’s really not public. It has already, in the most fundamental sense, been privatized. And that goes for any public agency that operates on the same philosophy, that the bondholder comes first. And it goes for all the cities–and all cities float bonds–it all goes for all cities that have that philosophy, that the interests of the bondholder are supreme. You know, the people in Detroit wonder out loud all the time why water should be so expensive when Detroit sits on the Great Lakes, which is the biggest reservoir of fresh water on the entire planet. But if all of these agencies, most of them public, that process the water to bring it to households are more accountable to bondholders, as Detroit’s water department is, more accountable to the rich capitalists who hold these financial instruments than they are to the people at the end of the faucet, then the Great Lakes themselves have actually been privatized. And I think that if we look at it that way, then we see that this irrational capitalism in this age that people call neoliberalism is actually accelerating and creating the same kinds of scarcities that we associate with climate change. And it’s very difficult to separate those symptoms, those consequences between what happens under capitalism and what happens under a climate change that is largely produced by capitalism. PERIES: Glen, if Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola can get free water, why can’t ordinary citizens? FORD: Well, that is the fundamental question. And if water can’t be free and we know that we need that with regularity for life, I guess air should not be free either. Nothing that human beings, just by virtue of being human beings, not just citizens of a country, but human beings, are owed nothing by their fellow human beings. In other words, there is no social compact among people whatsoever. And that in fact is the philosophy that underlies capitalism. PERIES: Perhaps there is a solution. I mean, in a place like Bolivia, Evo Morales was very involved in the water wars there, and now he’s elected president of Bolivia. Maybe the Detroit people could look at a solution of that sort. FORD: That certainly should be one of our demands. However, on Sunday, with this giant march in New York City, the organizers of it made no demands it all. So we should start making demands that apply to not just climate change but the scarcities that result from neoliberal swallowing up of resources as well, and free water ought to be at the top, right along with free air. PERIES: Thank you so much for joining us, Glen. FORD: And thank you for the opportunity. PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

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