The Daily Melt on
Wednesday April 26, 2017
 The Daily Melt
13
Mar
Written by The Melting Press

Sharp Fall in Exports Last Year Shrinks Irish Economy – The Irish Times

The Press

The Irish economy contracted again last year on the back of a sharp fall-off in net exports linked to the so-called pharma patent cliff. Preliminary figures published today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.3 per cent last year

The Melt

The government continually talks about austerity bringing about growth despite the fact that any decent economist will tell you that growth through austerity is impossible, hence more stagnation for the Irish economy. Our GDP figures are misleading as huge multinationals like Google, Facebook and Microsoft book their international sales through Ireland but this type of transaction is not tangible wealth. GNP has been similarly distorted by foreign companies without operations in Ireland, locating their headquarters here for taxation purposes.

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12
Mar
Written by The Melting Press

Flannery Got 60,000 Euro a Year to Lobby for Charity – The Irish Times

The Melt

Former Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery was paid €60,000-a-year by a charity in a campaign to seek tax changes from the Government to boost philanthropic donations from wealthy people. The contract was with Philanthropy Ireland, an association of foundations which was a member of a forum chaired by Mr. Flannery that brings State and private interests together to promote philanthropy.

The Press

Charity in its most egregious form is not a friend of the poor but of poverty. What Flannery’s lobbying exemplifies is the rich’s desire to use charity as a vehicle to legitimize their wealth and tax avoidance by giving nominal amounts of their wealth to causes of their own choosing. Flannery’s associations with the Rehab group also sum up what a boondoggle a large part of the Irish charity sector is, with massive executive salaries and little impacting results.

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10
Mar
Written by The Melting Press

Mexico Drug Kingpin Killed in Clash with Police – Reuters

The Press

A Mexican drug lord, Nazario Moreno who had reportedly been killed in 2010 has died after clashes with Mexican police on Sunday morning.He had previously been reported being fatally shot during a 2010 shootout, however no body had been found.This time however fingerprints were matched confirming the drug lord’s death. This alongside the capture of Joaquin Guzman last month,  has been earmarked as a major victory for the government in its war on drugs.

The Melt

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05
Mar
Written by The Melting Press

Russia test-fires ICBM amid tension over Ukraine - Reuters

The Press

Russia launched a test nuclear missile during the middle of the Ukrainian-Crimean crisis.  Although the launch was scheduled before the current international tensions, and the US was notified well in advance.

The Melt

Although the article itself clears up the circumstances the headline is nothing but sensationalist click bait. The fact that this test fire is being flaunted as a headline all over the web is completely absurd, and just seems to be attempting to milk what has been just short of a hysterical look at Russian actions and potential actions concerning Ukraine and Crimea.

China announces military spending increase – Aljazeera

The Press

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28
Feb
Written by The Melting Press

Armed Men Take Over 2 Airports in Crimea – The New York Times

The Press

Amid fears of a Kremlin-backed separatist rebellion against Ukraine’s fledgling government, armed men in military uniforms took up positions at two Crimean airports as Ukraine’s interior minister warned of “a direct provocation,” but there was no sign of any violence.

The Melt

Despite being described as “self-defence squads” by the Russian media, it is probable that these men are at the very least funded and armed by the Kremlin. Western media is of course quick to emphasis Russian involvement but paid very little attention to who was arming and funding pro-European paramilitary squads to date much more violent than Russian-backed militias.

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27
Feb
Written by The Melting Press

IMF Study Finds Inequality is Damaging to Economic Growth – The Guardian

The Press

The International Monetary Fund has backed economists who argue that inequality is a drag on growth in a discussion paper that has also dismissed right wing theories that efforts to redistribute incomes are self-defeating. Backing analysis by the Keynesian economist and Nobel prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz, it warned that inequality can also make growth more volatile and create the unstable conditions for a sudden slowdown in GDP growth.

The Melt

The IMF is basically an offshoot of the U.S.treasury. Since the Second World War it has wrecked Africa, Latin America and now Europe with its commitment to “economic liberalization”, essentially looting countries of their wealth in the service of multinationals and the financial industry. This report is a bit like a serial arsonist discovering that petrol is highly flammable.

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25
Feb
Written by The Melting Press

Which Country Has the Highest Tax Bracket? – BBC News

The Press

Price Waterhouse Coopers published a list of OECD countries’ tax rates. For each country, they calculated how much a high earner on a salary of $400,000 (£240,000) in 2013, with a mortgage of $1.2m (£750,000), would have left after all income tax rates and social security contributions. The lowsest tax liability came in at 3% in Saudi Arabia.

The Melt

You would have to be spectacularly dumb or have the world’s worst accountant to end up paying anywhere near the rates specified in this article if you were a member of the 1%. Tax havens, shell companies, equity swaps, capital gains tax, avoiding said capital gains tax, carried interest, shell trust funds, incorporating, and payments in kind are just some of the delightful ways they can excuse themselves from their tax obligations.

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24
Feb
Written by The Melting Press

Egyptian government offers shock resignation in live announcement broadcast on state TV – The Independent

The Press

Egypt’s military-backed government has issued a shock resignation in an announcement broadcast today on Egyptian state TV. Interim prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi said his entire cabinet will now stand down, but has provided no explanation for their decision or information on who will take over.

The Melt

A military coup took place in Egypt last year overthrowing democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and replacing him with a military dictatorship of sorts under General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Al-Sisi is also the country’s current Minister of Defense, a position that would have prohibited him from running for President in an election scheduled for later this year. The resignation of the entire interim cabinet will pave the way for al-Sisi to run for President, an attempt that will likely be successful given his designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, criminalising all its activities, its financing and even membership to the group

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21
Feb
Written by The Melting Press

Protests Rock Ukraine, Venezuela & Thailand – CNN

The Press

CNN do a round up of three protests in three countries, explaining who’s protesting, what they want, when it began and the latest news from each of the political flashpoints.

The Melt

There is some irony in this post, but trying to round up three very complex crisis in three very different countries, and break them down into the same categories is a very simplistic view to take. I understand that similar to this post they’re intending to give some base knowledge of the events in each country, however what they’ve ended up giving is a misinformed breakdown; still describing what’s going on in the Ukraine as a “protest” despite it’s escalation in something a lot larger, giving the impression in Venezuela of an Arab Spring type situation when in reality it’s a democratically elected leader running a politically divided country not a medieval despot and Thailand where large scale protests, accompanied by coups, have been ongoing on and off for over a decade. Not to mention that they also forgot to include the protests ongoing in Bosnia.

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20
Feb
Written by The Melting Press

Kiev Truce Comes to a Violent End – BBC News

The Press

Anti-government protestors reignited clashes with police overnight in Kiev with at least 20 reported deaths. The clashes come after more bloodshed earlier in the week and despite a truce agreed between the president and opposition leaders. EU foreign ministers expect to meet with Pro-Russian Ukraine President Yanukovich on Thursday.

The Melt

The same news reports that refer to anti-government opposition as “protestors” and “activists” also detail the assortment of weaponry, rifles, bats, petrol bombs, shields etc. that these people are carrying. Might it be reasonable to ask just what sort of protestors carry such items? According to the BBC, it isn’t.

 

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Net Neutrality
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Tadhg examines the threats to the way we use the internet on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Ireland & Alcohol
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Sean talks about the peer pressure that surrounds drinking culture that pervades Irish society.

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It's Not Us, It's You
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Greg's thoughts on the rather "special" relationship maintained between the US and Ireland.

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Victim Of Bureaucracy
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Mark tells the story of a Multicultural Centre in Dublin CIty, its impact on the local area and it's struggle to survive.

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