Portside Snapshot - September 27, 2015



South African Miners Could Lose HIV Treatment Due to Job Cuts

Katie McQue
This is Africa
As commodity prices tumble, thousands of South African miners with HIV stand to lose access to treatment if the mining companies’ proposed 11,700 in job cuts go through. While HIV treatment is technically free in South Africa, according to the National Union of Mineworkers many of the workers who lose their jobs could lose access to antiretroviral therapy when they return to their rural communities that may not have adequate healthcare systems in place.

The VW ‘Dieselgate’ Scandal: New Low in Corporate Malfeasance

Kevin Roose
What is notable about the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal is not that corporate executives lie and cheat, but its environmental scope. By rigging the emissions tests, Volkswagen cars may have added nearly a million tons of air pollution to the atmosphere annually – roughly the same as combined annual emissions for all power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture in England. And, according to the New York Times, VW executives might not face any U.S. criminal charges.

Billionaire’s Secret Plan: A ‘Hostile Takeover’ of LA Public Schools

Deirdre Fulton
Common Dreams
Last week the Los Angeles Times obtained a secret 44-page proposal drafted by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and other charter advocates, that according to one critic would "do away with democratically controlled, publicly accountable education in LA." With the aid of a billionaires’ club of supporters, the plan is designed to charterize 50% of LA public schools.

New Housing Report Points to a Bleak Future for Renters

Gillian B. White
The Atlantic
America’s rental housing crisis will worsen over the next decade with millions more struggling to make their monthly payments. According to a new study by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and Enterprise Community Partners, the rental population in the U.S. will climb by 4 million over the next 10 years, and the percentage of Americans who are severely rent-burdened (paying 50 percent or more) will increase by 11 percent, to 13 million people by 2025.

U.S. Trained “Moderate” Rebels Give Weapons to Al-Qaeda

Nabih Bulos
The Telegraph
In the second such episode in recent months, U.S.-trained Syrian rebels are reported to have handed over their weapons to al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra. The supposedly well-vetted fighters of Division 30, the “moderate” U.S.-backed rebel division, surrendered to Jabhat al-Nusra immediately after entering Syria on Monday. Last July, Jabhat al-Nusra routed the first group of Division 30 fighters to re-enter Syria, seizing their weapons and their commander.




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