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From NPR on August 12, 2013

Two news items reminded us of the collapse in April of a building outside the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, that housed garment factories.

— In the first, a worker injured in the collapse of the Rana Plaza died last week after spending 108 days in hospital in a coma.

— And in the second, Bangladesh’s garment exports in July grew more than 26 percent as compared to July 2012.

Four months after the tragedy, many survivors and victims’ families are still waiting for money promised them, as NPR’s Julie McCarthy reported when she met with some of those who were badly injured.

Our #madeinbangladesh episode airs on Tuesday on Al Jazeera. 

Here’s the new episode from our sister Al Jazeera English show Witness, “Hungry for Change” that just went online.  

Food is at the core of human survival - it can be at the heart of a family’s traditions and the key to a nation’s cultural identity. It has also been the source of war, conflict and devastation. Natural disasters can wipe out the food supply of an entire country but what happens when you live in the largest economy in the world, where food is ever abundant and yet you may still go to bed at night hungry?

Filmmaker’s statement about this episode on AJE. 

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.

- from “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%" by Joseph E. Stiglitz in Vanity Fair, May 2011

Our Fault Lines episode about “The Top 1%” airs tonight, 6:30p EST / 2230 GMT on Al Jazeera English.

Warren Buffett on the the wealthiest 1%

"If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity," he once said, "you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%."

- Warren Buffett qtd. in Sunday Star Times

(More from the article: “But it is also a matter of enlightened self-interest. He knew that in the long run he and his class would benefit from living in a fairer society. The rich do better when everyone does better.”)

Puerto Rico: A Bellwether for Public-Sector Unions?

In a documentary broadcast last week as part of its Fault Lines series, Al Jazeera makes the case that the commonwealth of Puerto Rico is several years ahead of the American heartland in using such strategies.

Conservative Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuno, who announced last week that he will run for re-election, has been praised by Republican mainland politicians and pundits for pioneering these tactics including layoffs of tens of thousands of public employees. During protests against Fortuno in New York this spring, Fox News’ Latin American affiliate also made the comparison to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

If Puerto Rico is any indication, the strategy of slashing public sector jobs and taking on public unions does not bode well for the economic and social well-being of mainland states, the Al Jazeera documentary argues.

Unemployment in Puerto Rico is at 16 percent, the average family income is about half that of Mississippi’s (despite a relatively high cost of living), drug abuse is rampant, crime is high and many islanders are fleeing to the mainland in search of jobs. The island’s economy is expected to be the slowest-growing in the United states this year, according to Al Jazeera.

Read the rest on In These Times (Fault Lines episode mentioned: “Puerto Rico: The fiscal experiment.”)

Protests have in the past turned violent. So members of the university staff form a buffer between the police and the protestors.

"Given that we took steps to avoid the police intervening in this student activity, we are not going to allow police to run over students today at the tower."

Watch the whole episode “Puerto Rico: The fiscal experiment" from June 27, 2011 on YouTube.

Protests have in the past turned violent. So members of the university staff form a buffer between the police and the protestors.

"Given that we took steps to avoid the police intervening in this student activity, we are not going to allow police to run over students today at the tower."

Watch the whole episode “Puerto Rico: The fiscal experiment" from June 27, 2011 on YouTube.

Why did an $800 fee hike spark a school-wide protest with police intervention at the University of Puerto Rico in early 2011?
10,000 students could be priced out of university [with that fee hike]; many are the first of their family to attend.
Watch the entire Fault Lines episode “Puerto Rico: The fiscal experiment" from June 27, 2011.

Why did an $800 fee hike spark a school-wide protest with police intervention at the University of Puerto Rico in early 2011?

10,000 students could be priced out of university [with that fee hike]; many are the first of their family to attend.

Watch the entire Fault Lines episode “Puerto Rico: The fiscal experiment" from June 27, 2011.