Thunder From Under http://thunderfromunder.com/ Tue, 17 May 2022 20:04:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://thunderfromunder.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/thunder-from-under-icon.png Thunder From Under http://thunderfromunder.com/ 32 32 The EU cannot be a green island in a dirty world https://thunderfromunder.com/the-eu-cannot-be-a-green-island-in-a-dirty-world/ Tue, 17 May 2022 15:34:05 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/the-eu-cannot-be-a-green-island-in-a-dirty-world/

The author is director of the Open Society European Policy Institute and one of the authors of the International system change compasswritten with Systemiq and the Club of Rome

The EU has a laudable history of climate leadership, having made legally binding commitments to climate neutrality and creating an ambitious policy framework to deliver on them. Unlike the United States and other global players, Europe has put its money – and its policies – where its mouth is.

But that story will start to look less laudable if the EU doesn’t address the global implications of its transition, as outlined in the recently released International System Change Compass. To put it bluntly, the EU cannot be a green island in a dirty world. Unless its trade, aid and other external policies help other regions achieve their own green transitions, the EU’s ambitions will be doomed.

There is only one climate, so emission reductions on one continent do not help if it continues to import products made with dirty energy from elsewhere in the world. By 2030, the EU will probably be responsible for less than 5% of global emissions, thanks to its “Fit for 55” package. But European demand generates much of the remaining 95% of emissions due to CO₂ embedded in imports from other regions.

Carbon emissions are not the only problem. The EU is a massive importer of virgin resources which are extracted in other parts of the world. Global extraction of natural resources has tripled in the past 50 years, according to the UN’s International Resource Panel, while global material productivity has declined and material consumption is expected to double by now. 2060. To avoid externalizing the emissions and ecological damage of this consumption, low-income countries must use resources much more efficiently by moving to a circular economy.

Resource efficiency has become more urgent now that Europe’s decarbonisation drive is increasing demand for critical raw materials, such as lithium for batteries. If the United States and Europe were to maintain the same consumption levels, currently known resources or planned mines could only provide about 50% of the lithium and 80% of the copper needed for humans to transition to electric mobility. and renewable energy generation, according to the International Energy Agency.

The development of renewable energies is Europe’s solution: it is the best way to decarbonise the economy and ensure long-term energy security, much better than finding new sources of oil and gas. Renewables are fuels of freedom because the sun and wind are abundant and well distributed around the world. But the raw materials essential to making solar panels and other clean technologies are concentrated in specific places, and most of the supply is controlled by one country: China. Shortly after Europe’s huge effort to escape dependence on Russian hydrocarbons, it will find itself more dependent on China. In addition, the mining boom of renewable technologies could trigger new resource conflicts. An important challenge for the next phase of the European Green Deal is to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure good governance of natural resources.

The EU needs to step up its investments on both the demand side and the supply side. Like the US and China, the EU must view the shift to more efficient use of materials as a security imperative, both for energy security but also as a conflict avoidance strategy. . A circular economy would be more resilient because greater reuse and recycling of materials means less vulnerability to external supply chains. It would also mean less competition for virgin resources between these three major economies.

However, the EU must cushion the impact on its low-income trading partners of import cuts and the introduction of climate-motivated trade barriers. Before introducing the carbon border adjustment mechanism planned for 2026, the EU must make parallel commitments on financing and technology transfer to help its low-income trading partners develop their own sustainable industries and recover the value chain.

Europe’s global reputation is at stake. To be a climate leader, the EU must avoid starting a new era of extractivism reminiscent of its colonial past, and instead make its own economy more resource efficient. and in energy. It must help other regions change their economic systems, not just threaten them with measures they see as protectionism in green wrappers. The European Green Deal will only succeed if it drives a global green deal that takes Europe’s trading partners on their own path to sustainability.

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A Scottish businessman who ran a drugs operation has won £7million with the help of an ex-cop https://thunderfromunder.com/a-scottish-businessman-who-ran-a-drugs-operation-has-won-7million-with-the-help-of-an-ex-cop/ Tue, 17 May 2022 07:48:00 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/a-scottish-businessman-who-ran-a-drugs-operation-has-won-7million-with-the-help-of-an-ex-cop/

A businessman who ran a drugs operation with the help of a former police officer has earned £7million from his life of crime, a court has heard.

Lawrence Phee, 51, has pocketed a total of £7,060,500 from his time as a criminal, the Edinburgh High Court heard on Monday.

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Lawrence Phee pocketed a total of £7,060,500Credit: Crown Office
Former cop David Brown helped lead the operation

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Former cop David Brown helped lead the operationCredit: Crown Office
Phee organized 15 shipments to be made from Spain to the UK and occasionally to Ireland

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Phee organized 15 shipments to be made from Spain to the UK and occasionally to IrelandCredit: Crown Office

However, prosecutors have agreed with defense lawyers for Phee that the former haulage firm boss currently only has £75,557.41 in assets.

The news emerged following a hearing before Judge Lord Sandison.

Crown attorneys had brought a proceeds of crime action against Phee, who is serving an eight-and-a-half-year sentence for drug trafficking.

On Monday, prosecutors accepted an offer from Phee’s defense team to hand over the figure of £75,557.41.

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Phee, from Airdrie, Lanarkshire, was arrested after police busted a major organized crime racket.

The contractor has recruited former British Transport Police inspector David Brown, 52, to help lead the operation.

A court heard how Phee headed the racket from a base in Lanarkshire between November 1, 2017 and December 1, 2018.

Prosecutor Alan Cameron said: “The drugs were transported from the Alicante region of Spain to the UK using industrial machinery.

Most read in The Scottish Sun

“It was most often generators and compressors.

“The drugs were hidden and then transported in tractor-trailers run by various people and companies.

“Vehicle drivers and transport company operators were sometimes unaware of the presence of drugs.”

The court heard Phee arrange 15 shipments to be made from Spain to the UK and occasionally to the Republic of Ireland.

This often involved contacting transport companies using a pseudonym and false company name – such as Pat Kelly of Kelly Compressors.

Mr Cameron said the total amount of drugs smuggled was unknown. But two incidents gave a “sneak peek” of the large-scale operation.

In May 2018, Phee – also known as Pat Kelly – and two associates met with a transport company in Alicante.

A huge generator set wrapped in cling film was then loaded onto a truck. The truck drivers were later arrested by police in France.

A total of 126 kg of herbal cannabis were found hidden inside the generator.

The innocent drivers were detained for two days before being released.

The herbal cannabis had a value in Scotland of £504,000 and £750,000 in Ireland, if sold by the kilogram.

But Mr Cameron said ‘the maximum potential value would be greater’ if the drugs were broken down further.

On December 1, 2018, a van driven by Brown was stopped by police at Cairnryan Ferry Port in Wigtownshire.

He claimed to be a courier who picked up a load from Kelly Compressors in Shotts, Lanarkshire.

A police officer suspects modifications to a fuel tank during transport.

Mr Cameron said: ‘It was three quarters full of packets of controlled medication.

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It appeared Phee had followed the van to Cairnryan but was not linked to the seizure at the time.

A total of 4 kg of cocaine, 23 kg of herbal cannabis and 5072 bars of cannabis resin were found.

The drugs were valued at £600,000 in Scotland – £1million in Ireland – but would fetch even more money if split into smaller high street deals.

On Monday, Lord Sandison gave Phee six months to hand over the money.

We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun? Email us at scoop@thesun.co.uk or call 0141 420 5300

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Q&A: Bernalillo County Commission District 5 Republican Candidate Judy Young https://thunderfromunder.com/qa-bernalillo-county-commission-district-5-republican-candidate-judy-young/ Tue, 17 May 2022 03:16:26 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/qa-bernalillo-county-commission-district-5-republican-candidate-judy-young/

NAME: Judy Young

POLITICAL PARTY: Republican

OCCUPATION: Retired from writing a $92 million grant from the University of New Mexico Cancer Research and Treatment Center, educator, promoter, advisor, etc. Currently Agent for Advancing Quality of Life in Bernalillo County

TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Grants Writer for UNM; partnered with Deputy Chief of Police Phil Chacon to launch the first publicly funded domestic violence program, which was later adopted by every state in the United States; worked with Frank Crosby to launch the first Home Show and Sports Show in New Mexico, representing and promoting thousands of small businesses; worked at the South Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility and the MDC; worked as a counselor and educator for high-risk teens in Houston

EDUCATION: West Texas A&M undergraduate; Master’s degree from Columbia University; post-masters University of New Mexico

AGE: 73

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: youngbernco.com

1. What is the top priority in your district and how would you address it as County Commissioner?

Firmly push back against crime by: 1. Fully supporting all law enforcement agencies. 2. Engage all law enforcement agencies to work cooperatively. 3. End the sanctuary status of drugs and crime by implementing a strict Metropolitan Detention Center policy. 4. Implement a policy to protect the lawful and impose consequences for the illegal.

2. Under what circumstances, if any, would you support a tax increase? And what types, if any, would you support?

I will only support lowering taxes by cutting fat to increase efficiency and limit government spending.

3. What do you think should be the top three priorities for capital projects in the county?

For all of Bernalillo County: 1. Youth Detention Center Renovation. 2. New Sheriff’s Substation across from the current Call Center on Paseo del Norte. For Bernalillo County District 5: a gymnasium in the Cedar Crest/Tijeras area.

4. What, if any, do you think the county should do differently in how it manages and uses the behavioral health tax?

Behavioral health issues and homelessness go hand in hand. Campus model of efficient triage and processing of each category. Refer to #8.

5. What role, if any, should the county commission play in advising the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office on matters related to public safety.

I believe the commission can and should have a good cohesive relationship to effectively resolve issues for the public good. Any motivation must be centered on the public good and not on self-interest.

6. What are your ideas for improving the conditions of employees and inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center?

Inmates: Programming for inmates with strict supervision and a follow-up release plan is the most important step in reducing recidivism in my direct experience with the penal system. Employees: Strict supervision to prevent the entry of drugs and/or contraband into the establishment. Employees are treated with the utmost respect through implemented incentive programs. Relaxation advice and exercise programs available.

7. How would you work to improve Bernalillo County’s economy?

I will never close businesses. I will do the exact opposite by: 1. Lowering taxes; 2. Get rid of bureaucracy (eliminate big government!) and make government business friendly. 3. Create more jobs (pay people to work, not stay home!!) 4. Limit government spending

8. What specific strategies do you have to reduce homelessness?

Caring for the homeless while protecting the integrity of the neighborhood. Sort the homeless and treat each category accordingly: 1. Criminals who hide in plain sight. 2. Mentally ill; 3. Drug addict; 4. Criminal mental patient; 5. Situational (the only category that is truly homeless by definition); 6. Dual diagnosis (mental illness and substance abuse self-medication).

Personal history

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been subject to any state or federal tax liens?

No.

2. Have you ever been involved in personal or commercial bankruptcy proceedings?

No.

3. Have you ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony in New Mexico or any other state? If yes, explain.

No.

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Gold faces new competition as real yields turn positive – USBWM https://thunderfromunder.com/gold-faces-new-competition-as-real-yields-turn-positive-usbwm/ Mon, 16 May 2022 17:01:00 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/gold-faces-new-competition-as-real-yields-turn-positive-usbwm/

Editor’s Note: With such volatility in the markets, stay up to date with daily news! Get our quick roundup of today’s must-see news and expert opinion in minutes. Register here!

(Kitco News) – Gold market is finding some support at around $1,800 an ounce; However, according to a market strategist, the gold market faces renewed competition for the rest of the year as the Federal Reserve aggressively raises interest rates.

In an interview with Kitco News, Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management, said that while inflation may have peaked, there are indications that core inflation will remain elevated through 2022, creating a difficult environment for the economy and financial markets.

In the current environment, Haworth said real assets remain an attractive hedge against inflation and market volatility.

“We’ve already seen significant multiple compression in the equity market, and that means we think we need to look at ways to move our cash flow forward, and real assets has been a key way for us to do that. “, did he declare. .

However, Haworth added that he does not see gold as an attractive real asset. He said he sees gold continuing to struggle through 2022 as the Federal Reserve plans to raise interest rates to potentially 3% by December.

The US central bank has signaled it may raise interest rates by 50 basis points over the next two weeks, and markets are pricing in the possibility of a 50 basis point move in the next three meetings.

Haworth explained that if inflation holds, rising nominal interest rates will mean that real interest rates will begin to rise.

“If we think about the last three years, one of the things that has helped gold has been negative real interest rates. We don’t have a whole curve in positive territory, but now we’re starting to see rates positive, real interest rates will start to divert some of that demand away from gold,” he said. “Investors looking for a safe haven can now find it in certain duties.”

The only thing that could reverse gold’s current downtrend is if the Federal Reserve were forced to halt and even reverse its current monetary policy plans, Haworth said.




However, he added that even if the economy slows, it should have enough momentum to avoid a recession. He said a strong U.S. labor market and healthy consumer demand are supporting economic growth, albeit at lower levels.

“There is room for the economy to work,” he said.

Although gold is not on Haworth’s list of investments, he said it makes sense for investors to have commodities in their portfolios. He added that he likes the energy sector as he expects oil and gas prices to remain high.

However, at the top of its list of investments is global infrastructure; USBWM is overweight these assets.

“There’s this demand story playing out. Even though global economic growth may be slower for the rest of the year, a further reopening of easing supply chains probably changes the story a bit. demand,” he said.

Haworth said there are mutual funds and ETFs that offer investors exposure to global infrastructure such as toll roads, airports, water treatment facilities, cell towers and data centers. data.

“We’ve been biased domestically for a while, but from an infrastructure perspective there seem to be some benefits to being global,” he said.



Warning: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. This is not a solicitation to trade commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article accept no responsibility for loss and/or damage resulting from the use of this publication.

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Global Misery Index Reflects Nigerians’ Misfortunes https://thunderfromunder.com/global-misery-index-reflects-nigerians-misfortunes/ Sun, 15 May 2022 23:37:04 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/global-misery-index-reflects-nigerians-misfortunes/

From being a potentially prosperous haven, Nigeria is transforming into a place of excruciating misery. Further attestation of the country’s steady descent into a land of woes comes from Hanke’s Annual Misery Index, a global economic survey of countries in which Africa’s most populous country has plunged four places, falling from 15th in 2020 to the 11th most miserable territory in 2021. Undoubtedly, inequality, poverty, unemployment and economic hardship are rapidly confounding to make Nigeria an unlivable contraption. Led by all levels of government, all hands should be on deck to stem the decline.

Because of its lethargic, anachronistic and pedestrian economic choices, the regime of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), does not deliver on the fundamentals of governance, in particular on the economy, which research has just reiterated .

Led by Steve Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, USA, the research focuses on four salient parameters: inflation; loan rate; unemployment figures; and GDP growth. Nigeria fared miserably in all categorizations in 2021. Out of 156 economies assessed, it was the 11th most miserable country. In Africa, it is better than only Sudan, Zimbabwe and Angola in misery.

It is shameful that Nigeria is ranked with the aforementioned trio. It’s a nasty stain on the regime in place and the previous ones. Sudan is perpetually ravaged by civil war; Zimbabwe has yet to recover from the atrocious era of Robert Mugabe; Angola is being ransacked by grand larceny of power that plunders its oil wealth.

With its enormous oil and gas resources, Nigeria is potentially an economic giant. It is the 13th largest oil producer and 10th largest by gas reserves in the world, earning $565.5 million from crude and gas sales in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company. On the ground, this has not translated into improved human development indices. On the contrary, in 2018, Nigeria acquired the notorious title of world capital of extreme poverty. From 87 million that year, more than 90 million Nigerians now live in extreme poverty. It’s a euphemism for misery. Nigerians are finding it increasingly difficult to feed themselves as food prices soar.

The reasons for mass poverty are obvious. Long disjointed, under Buhari, the economy plunged into turmoil. His policies are causing pain to the majority. Since taking office in 2015, the country has experienced two recessions. In 2020, Nigeria recorded negative growth of -1.8%. It was -1.6% in 2016. For a country of 211 million people struggling with a GDP of $432.29 billion (2020), this translates into massive deprivation.

The result is that unemployment, which was 14.4% in January 2017, rose to 23.1% in 2018, 27.10% in 2020 and is currently at 33.3%. Every year, millions of young people enter the labor market with little hope of getting a job. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 20% of full-time workers lost their jobs in 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, which accentuates youth unemployment variously estimated between 42.5% and 55%. It makes the misery worse.

Inflation has become monstrous. The current NBS figure of 15.92% is likely an underestimate as Nigeria is highly dependent on imports for basic necessities and raw materials for industry. With the value of the naira deteriorating every week, the cost of goods and services is rising astronomically, worsening inflation. This throws planning overboard. On the other hand, annual inflation in the euro zone should be 7.5% in March, against 5.9% in February, according to the European Union.

Although it is an oil producer, factories are closing due to unsustainable energy costs. Prices for diesel, aviation fuel, gasoline and lubricants are on the rise. Electricity production fluctuates between 2,000 megawatts and 5,000 MW despite billions of dollars invested over the years to boost it. Consequently, industrial production is limited and costly as alternative energy increases the cost of goods by 40%, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

Debt is at record highs as government revenues decline. To build social infrastructure, the government borrows massively. Plus, he prints money – Ways and Means – to survive. It hurts that there is no concise economic policy apart from superficially distributing money to a few through token measures like TraderMoni and Market Moni.

With the Central Bank of Nigeria’s benchmark lending rate at 11.5%, borrowing costs are prohibitive for businesses. Worse, it is difficult for them to obtain foreign currency to import raw materials. They resort to the parallel market, where the rates fluctuate between N595 and N600 to 1 USD. At the start of the Buhari regime, it was 199 naira to 1 dollar.

To reverse the extreme misery index, Buhari must urgently review his economic policies. First, executive orders on the economy, especially on seaport operations, should be revived and implemented. It should be obvious to the regime that export and import barriers are hurting Nigeria’s economic growth. The excruciating delays must be tackled head-on through technological solutions and modernization of port infrastructure.

Second, the president should privatize refineries and all the other pinnacles of the economy. Without electricity at an efficient price, increasing industrial production is a mirage. Revenue from sales should be redirected to electricity and infrastructure.

Beyond that, the 36 state governments should become productive. Instead of depending on lower federal allocations, they should take giant steps to make their states independent economic units by attracting investors and providing the enabling environment necessary for businesses to thrive.

All this is impossible without a new security structure. The current policing system has failed miserably. To end the siege of insecurity, states must strengthen local security capacities and agencies. Together with federal and state legislators, they should urgently promote the adoption of the “doctrine of necessity” to delegate police responsibilities. This will allow farmers to return to their farms and help revive trade and tourism.

Copyright PUNCH.

All rights reserved. This material and any other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without the prior express written permission of PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

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Passenger and airport staff arrested for smuggling gold in Amritsar in Punjab https://thunderfromunder.com/passenger-and-airport-staff-arrested-for-smuggling-gold-in-amritsar-in-punjab/ Sun, 15 May 2022 18:01:41 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/passenger-and-airport-staff-arrested-for-smuggling-gold-in-amritsar-in-punjab/

The gold bar has an estimated market value of Rs 31 lakh. (Representative)

Amritsar:

A Dubai passenger was detained at Amritsar airport for allegedly smuggling gold while an aerobridge operator was arrested for colluding with him, officials said on Sunday.

The passenger had arrived in Amritsar on Saturday on an Air India Express flight. He was intercepted by customs officers at Sri Guru Ramdas ji International Airport (SGRDJI) in Amritsar.

A statement issued by the customs service indicates that during the search of his luggage, a gold bar weighing 587 grams was found concealed in the shoulder bag.

The gold bar has an estimated market value of Rs 31 lakh and was seized. On further questioning, the passenger admitted he was carrying two gold bars and handed one over to an aerobridge operator.

He said he was ordered to hand over the gold bar to the ground staff member who would approach him and give a code word. To confirm the passenger’s claim, CCTV footage was scanned and the staff member was identified, the statement said.

The operator was an employee of the company that has the contract for aerobridge operations at the airport, he said.

Upon further investigation, the staff member admitted that he had also been involved in gold smuggling on other occasions.

He was handing over the smuggled gold to a colleague who also works as an aerobridge operator at the same company, the statement said.

The duo were arrested and taken into judicial custody for 14 days and efforts are underway to apprehend the other aerobridge operator, the official said.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Texas Isn’t Abiding by Free Market Principles on Alcohol, Teslas https://thunderfromunder.com/texas-isnt-abiding-by-free-market-principles-on-alcohol-teslas/ Sun, 15 May 2022 11:02:00 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/texas-isnt-abiding-by-free-market-principles-on-alcohol-teslas/

OPINION AND COMMENT

Editorials and other opinion content offer viewpoints on issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our newsroom reporters.

Guests attend the “Cyber ​​Rodeo” grand opening ceremony for the new $1.1 billion Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing plant in Austin in April.  State leaders are happy to welcome the company, but buying Tesla cars in Texas is difficult.  (Jay Janner/American Statesman from Austin via AP)

Guests attend the “Cyber ​​Rodeo” grand opening ceremony for the new $1.1 billion Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing plant in Austin in April. State leaders are happy to welcome the company, but buying Tesla cars in Texas is difficult. (Jay Janner/American Statesman from Austin via AP)

PA

Compared to many states, Texas has relatively sound economic policies. Taxes are quite low, labor is at-will and therefore mostly paid at market rates rather than union or government mandated levels.

It’s less complicated to start a new business or build a new building here than in many states, and so it’s easier to create new jobs. And while Texas is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, we have also diversified our economy over the past few decades to be reasonably insulated from fluctuating oil and gas prices.

But while Texans, or at least conservative Texans, like to think of Texas as a state that exemplifies a philosophy of free markets and limited government, I have bad news for you.

There are several areas where elected Republicans in Texas have confused being pro-market with being pro-business, and so they have enacted policies designed to protect incumbent businesses or traditional business models from disruptive competition, which would not not only better for consumers, but also would encourage higher economic growth and job creation in our state.

When you say you believe in free markets, that means you believe in robust competition – new competitors within the state, competition from outside, disruptive new technologies, and experimentation with new business models.

But when you enact policies designed to protect powerful business interests, you are protectionist and not liberal.

Texas’ tedious and unnecessary laws governing the sale and distribution of alcohol is an area where your elected Republican lawmakers repeatedly leave in place outdated regulations that protect a small number of private, family-owned liquor chains from competition. big box stores.

A particularly infuriating example is a new measure passed by Republicans in 2019. It barred companies outside of Texas from bidding on new electric transmission projects. My fellow Republicans, who claim to believe in free markets, have overwhelmingly passed legislation to protect a small number of huge transmission companies in Texas from new competition from out of state.

With fewer companies bidding on transmission projects, that just means those projects will cost more, and when you have a small number of companies legally allowed to bid, that introduces the possibility of collusion. It’s bad for Texas taxpayers, but good for the public services lawmakers have chosen to protect. In other words, the legislators made a pro-business choice, but certainly not a pro-market one.

However, perhaps the most immediate and compelling example is how Texas Republicans are using the power of the law to force Texas consumers to buy vehicles through the traditional car dealership model. Residents of 31 other states can buy vehicles directly from manufacturers such as Tesla and Rivian, but not Texans.

For Texas Republicans-elect, protecting auto dealerships from low levels of disruptive competition is more important than upholding their free-market principles and allowing Texas consumers to take advantage of new business models. They are happy to recruit Elon Musk’s company from outside of California, although the cars built here are still difficult to buy.

Some Republicans in Texas may think that to support fossil fuels they must necessarily oppose electric vehicles, but that’s ridiculous. The electricity that charges electric vehicles doesn’t come out of nowhere — it’s generated by our natural gas power plants here in Texas.

In all of these cases, Republican lawmakers in Texas have chosen campaign dollars from big contributors over fidelity to their stated free-market principles. They chose to favor businesses over consumers.

Being a conservative lawmaker in Texas shouldn’t be about more guns and fewer abortions. We can open our state to even more economic growth, job creation, consumer choice, and overall economic freedom. But it will require elected Republicans to live up to the rhetoric of their campaign mailings and adopt policies that actually expand markets rather than protect well-connected business interests.

Tom Giovanetti is president of the Institute for Policy Innovation, a free-market think tank in Dallas.

Tom Giovanetti mug.jpg
Tom Giovanetti is president of the Institute for Policy Innovation, a public policy research organization based in Irving.

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]]> It will take a lot more to ‘level’ the UK – POLITICO https://thunderfromunder.com/it-will-take-a-lot-more-to-level-the-uk-politico/ Sun, 15 May 2022 02:14:03 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/it-will-take-a-lot-more-to-level-the-uk-politico/

Brian Groom is a former associate editor of the Financial Times and is the author of “Northerners: A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day” (HarperNorth).

Northern England, where textile mills, coal mines, shipyards and steel mills once led the world in the Industrial Revolution, is once again in the spotlight.

Now a key proving ground for regeneration – which the developed world still grapples with – the future of the region will have significant political and economic consequences for Britain.

For decades, countries have been trying to revive former industrial regions, with mixed results. Regional disparities within advanced countries have been widening since the late 1980s, according to the International Monetary Fund. programs have had partial and temporary benefits, overall they have failed to stem the region’s relative decline.

The North’s share of Britain’s economic output has fallen from 30% after World War I to around 20% today – the reverse of London and the South East’s growth. Despite this, the economy of the North remains larger than that of countries like Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Norway and Sweden, and if it underperforms, the whole economy British is held back.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised, amid some skepticism, to ‘level out’ the UK’s economy, which is home to some of the biggest geographical disparities in productivity, pay, skills and health in the world. all the great nations. A difficult task amid rising inflation, pressure on living standards and the fallout from war in Ukraine – and all as the UK tries to carve out a future outside the Union European.

In this sense, the Johnson government has set itself ambitious medium-term objectives. In a recent white paperhe proposed 12 ‘missions’, including a commitment that ‘by 2030 employment and productivity will have increased in every region of the UK, each containing a globally competitive city, and l “gap between the best performing regions and the others will close”.

The document’s goals were widely welcomed, but critics warned that a lack of detailed implementation, lack of funding and a cautious approach to decentralization would make them difficult to achieve.

Johnson’s Tories made a major push into the traditionally Labor-voting north in the last general election of 2019 – almost half of their gains were in so-called ‘red wall’ seats in the north, midlands and south. North East Wales And to keep those seats, Johnson must now persuade voters in the North that the tide is turning.

But being able to do so will also be complicated by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

EU regional programs have helped fund a host of projects, including the Echo Arena in Liverpool and the National Football Museum in Manchester, as well as business centres, technology centres, vocational training, housing upgraded and renewable energy, environmental and broadband projects. And even if the government replaces money with a Shared Prosperity FundNorthern think tanks still complain of a miss to win over the next three years.

In truth, however, while valuable, neither the EU programs nor the British government’s regeneration efforts have narrowed the economic divide.

Could other European countries offer useful lessons?

Without a doubt, the most spectacular regeneration effort of modern times has been The revival of East Germany.

At the time of reunification in 1990, output per worker was around 60% of the level of the former West Germany, but it is now 85%. The programs implemented have included social spending, infrastructure and business support. Basically, there was cross-party support and the projects were designed to last for decades.

German reunification was, of course, exceptional. The cost is estimated at hit 2,000 billion euros, partly financed by a solidarity tax on German adults. The UK’s £4.8 billion Upgrade funds and £3.6 billion Cities funds look puny in comparison. And it seems unlikely that resources will be available on a scale comparable to that of Germany.

Another question is whether sufficient powers and funding will be devolved to mayors and councils. The white paper invites nine English regions to apply for devolution deals, and some current mayors in places such as Greater Manchester and the West Midlands will be offered additional powers, similar to those in London.

However, little fiscal autonomy is offered here. According to the Institute for Government think tank, over the past decade central government grants to councils have been cut by 37% in real terms.

The picture is not entirely bleak for the North, however. Its major cities, including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Liverpool, have revived to a degree few would have predicted in the 1980s – although they still struggle with deprivation.

These achievements have all involved a partnership between local elected officials and businesses and also, to some extent, central government. And while former mining towns, coalfields and seaside towns are more difficult to revive and may require different policies, the same type of partnership seems essential.

To date, regeneration policy in England has been hampered by lukewarm plans that have chopped and changed with each change of government, and even prime minister. Johnson’s “leveling up” follows “rebalancing” and the “Northern Powerhouse” under David Cameron.

But it is the people who live and work in an area who know best what it needs. And a successful recovery of the North must involve public-private partnership, significant investment, long-term programs, multi-stakeholder support, central government buy-in and local autonomy.

The North of England has contributed so much to the global economy and culture, whether through engineers like Richard Arkwright, inventor of the hydraulic framework for cotton spinning and developer of the factory system, and George Stephenson , father of the railroad, or social reformers like Josephine Butler, women’s suffrage activists like Emmeline Pankhurst, and writers like the Brontës and William Wordsworth.

The North knows what is best for it, and it also knows not to place its future solely in the hands of national politicians. True revival is unlikely to occur unless it involves the talents, energy and entrepreneurship of northerners themselves.

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Export restrictions worsen global food crisis, warns UN https://thunderfromunder.com/export-restrictions-worsen-global-food-crisis-warns-un/ Sat, 14 May 2022 04:20:00 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/export-restrictions-worsen-global-food-crisis-warns-un/

(Photo by Anadolu)

ROME – A senior United Nations (UN) official on Friday warned countries against restricting food exports, saying it was the wrong response to a worsening global food crisis due to war in course between Russia and Ukraine which began on February 24.

The poorest countries have had to deal with rising food prices over the past two years, but the situation has worsened due to shortages caused by the war between Russia and Ukraine, two major producers and exporters of wheat and other foodstuffs.

In this scenario, governments should “refrain from imposing export restrictions, which can exacerbate food price increases and undermine confidence in global markets”, the head of the Organization of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Qu Dongyu.

Qu said greater transparency in global food markets through the expansion of an FAO-hosted food price platform and cheap loans to poorer countries to help them meet their Rising food bills could ease the crisis.

He made the remarks while addressing a meeting of G7 agriculture ministers in Stuttgart, Germany, FAO said in a statement.

The G7 brings together the United States, Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and the EU.

The US-based International Food Policy Research Institute lists Argentina, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Kazakhstan as “notable” countries that have responded to the war in Ukraine with food export restrictions.

Meanwhile, at a side meeting of G7 foreign ministers, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock accused Russia of blocking grain exports from Ukrainian ports, presenting the move as part of a “hybrid war”.

The FAO said Egypt, Turkey, Congo, Eritrea, Madagascar, Namibia, Somalia and Tanzania are among the countries most dependent on wheat imports, while Argentina, Bangladesh and Brazil are heavily dependent on imported fertilizers from Russia. (Anadolu)

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‘Why shoot?’ – question for Ghaziabad cops after 3 Muslim men injured in ‘cow smuggling’ case https://thunderfromunder.com/why-shoot-question-for-ghaziabad-cops-after-3-muslim-men-injured-in-cow-smuggling-case/ Sat, 14 May 2022 02:18:57 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/why-shoot-question-for-ghaziabad-cops-after-3-muslim-men-injured-in-cow-smuggling-case/

Ghaziabad: Ghaziabad police shot and wounded three men – Saddam, Kaseem and Zeeshan – in the legs and arrested them on suspicion of smuggling cattle in an alleged “encounter” which took place around 4.30am on Thursday. A cow that the three men were supposed to be transporting was unharmed.

According to Ghaziabad (city) Superintendent of Police, Nipun Agrawal, the suspects first opened fire and injured a police officer, and the three were later shot dead in self-defense.

“Police had received reports at Vijay Nagar Police Station that some cow smugglers were transferring a cow to a Silver Scorpion. When the police chased them, [the suspects’] car hit a tree. When the police asked the accused to surrender, they opened fire on the team and injured a gendarme. In retaliation, they were injured,” the SP said.

Four FIRs were filed under sections of the Indian Penal Code for attempted murder and robbery, as well as under sections of the Arms Act, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and the UP Cow Slaughter Prevention Act.

According to police sources, the three defendants have also been involved in previous cases of cow slaughter. FIRs were filed in those cases, the sources said, adding that they were linked to the defendants after their arrest in the present case.

Meanwhile, speaking to ThePrint, the families of two of the men – Saddam and Kaseem – cried foul of the operation and expressed fears they could be further harmed in police custody.

Over the past few months, there have been several cases of cow smuggling/slaughtering suspects injured in “encounters” with Uttar Pradesh police.

In November last year, for example, police in Ghaziabad came under fire for shooting seven men in the legs in an alleged cow slaughter. In two separate cases in March and April also, suspected cattle smugglers were shot and injured in Bareilly and Gonda, respectively.

In most cases, the police justified their actions in self-defence.


Read also: 48 hours after Dwarka lynching, accused “gau rakshaks” released, but 5 injured arrested


What the FIRs and the police are saying

According to FIRs, accessed by ThePrint, the suspects were traveling in an SUV with a cow when police began chasing them. When the police team attempted to get the men to stop their vehicle, they did not comply and instead detoured down a muddy road where they lost control and hit a tree, according to FIR.

“The three were told to surrender by the police but instead ran into the fields and opened fire, one bullet hitting an officer’s arm. According to our police training, we opened fire on them in self-defense,” the police account cited in FIR reads, adding that six bullets were fired at the three suspects.

In a statement, Ghaziabad police said three pistols, live ammunition cartridges, sedatives, a rope, an ax and syringes were recovered from the accused. The cow, FIR note, was found in the back of the SUV.

“They were planning to take cows to remote places and after sedating them intended to kill them and then sell them in Delhi,” a senior police officer told ThePrint.

The FIRs also mention that during questioning, the three revealed that they and two other associates had previously smuggled cow meat – in March and May.

Speaking about the alleged prior crimes in which the defendants were involved, the senior police officer said: “Zeeshan has an electricity theft case filed in 2018 and also under sections of the Prevention of Crime Act. cow slaughter, filed in 2015. Additionally, he was also charged with attempted murder and fraud.

Saddam, he added, also has charges against him under the Cow Killing Prevention Act, filed against him in 2016, along with “others under the ICC sections for punishment for using a false mark of ownership and dishonestly receiving stolen goods, and under the NDPS Act.”

“Why did they have to shoot the boys? »

Kaseem and Saddam both live in the same locality of Ghaziabad, which is home to lower-middle-class households and is dominated by Muslims.

Family members and neighbors told ThePrint that the pair left their respective homes on Wednesday night after getting “drunk”, and only learned of the arrest the following day. Some locals also questioned the police version of events.

In Saddam’s shabby brick-walled house, his family members were distraught over the shooting.

“Why did they have to shoot the boys? We are poor, uneducated, but the police should have known not to kill them all. Saddam is also wounded in the forehead,” his aunt Phool Mujra said. “The police force outnumbered them and the car had been in an accident. If the bullet had hit somewhere else, who would have been responsible? »

Saddam’s house in Ghaziabad | Bismee Taskin | The footprint

According to the family, Saddam worked as a construction worker and was not used to carrying firearms.

“On Wednesday night he had a fight with his second wife, who is five months pregnant. He left the house drunk and angry, but we know for a fact he would never have a gun with him,” his sister-in-law said.

Rizwana, Saddam’s wife, also claimed “he would never shoot a gun” and alleged that the police framed him. “The police planted their weapons. We don’t know about the cow…but the cow was safe, right? So why this brutality?

Asked about previous complaints allegedly filed against him, his family members said they did not know.

Only about 80 meters from Saddam’s house is Kaseem’s residence. His wife Gulafsha said he left the house around 9.30pm on Wednesday “for a walk”, telling her he would be back at midnight.

She denied knowing anything about the cow smuggling and said she believed the police arranged the encounter. “They tied the cow to the tree, made a video, leaked it to the media and shot my husband,” she alleged.

Kaseem’s aunt Kher-un-Nisa told ThePrint he was a factory worker and stayed out of trouble.

“Ask the whole Mohallah how is Kaseem. He never answered the elders or was rude to anyone. When he didn’t go to work the next day, his employer at the factory called and inquired…that’s when I saw the news and pictures of him lying on the floor, with blood pouring out of his legs,” she said.

Both families said they feared the men would receive adequate medical treatment in detention.

(Editing by Asavari Singh)


Read also: UP minister’s solution to stray cattle threat: BJP workers will scoop up excrement and perform gaushalas


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