Banks and for-profit prisons grow rich on deportations

first_imgWhile millions of migrant and refugee families struggle under a climate of fear fueled by widespread deportations, private for-profit prison companies and the major banks that fund them are cashing in on immigrants’ suffering.Shares of GEO Group and CoreCivic Inc. (formerly Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)) shot up 21 and 43 percent respectively following Donald Trump’s election. Since then, CoreCivic’s stock price has risen 120 percent while GEO has seen an 80 percent increase. CoreCivic and GEO control 85 percent of the U.S. private prison market.The Trump administration’s crackdown on immigrants has been a boon to the for-profit prison industry, which operates over half of the “beds” in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities.GEO made a hefty contribution to a super PAC for Trump during the election, while CoreCivic contributed millions to Trump’s inauguration.  Shortly after being confirmed as Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions overturned an Obama administration initiative to phase out government use of corporate-run prisons.Detention bed quotasSince 2003, GEO has spent over $3 million lobbying Congress plus a million more in contributions to local and state political campaigns.  CCA was also heavily involved in lobbying. These investments paid off in 2009 when a Democratic-controlled Congress passed, and Obama signed, legislation mandating that ICE maintain 34,000 detention beds at any given time.This “detention bed quota” policy guarantees profits for the private prison industry. Since the federal government is required to pay for the bed space whether or not it is used, ICE came under increasing pressure to pursue a more aggressive deportation policy.By 2015, CoreCivic was making $3,356 in profit per prisoner and GEO $2,135 annually.Just prior to Trump’s election, the number of people in detention was averaging 41,000 each day.  Currently, the number of people held in detention centers is up to 80,000 per day.  If Trump’s plans to deport two million to three million people in his first year are carried out, the American Civil Liberties Union estimates it would require construction of over 100,000 new immigration detention beds.Both GEO and CoreCivic have been accused of widespread human rights violations.  Charges against GEO include the company’s forcing tens of thousands of immigrants at a Colorado detention facility to perform slave labor. Their Karnes Family Detention Center in Texas, which houses mothers and children, saw repeated hunger strikes over poor conditions.In his article “My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard,” Shane Bauer, writing for Mother Jones, documented what conditions were like in a prison run by CCA. The company faced so many charges of abuse and violations of prisoners’ rights that it lost four contracts to run prisons in the month of June 2013 alone.Wall Street bankrolls private prison industryThe rapid expansion of for-profit private prison detention centers was made possible through financial investments and loans from major banks.  Bank financing allows these companies to profit off mass incarceration.CoreCivic’s single largest investor is the Vanguard Group Inc., with shares valued at nearly $600 million. Six banks finance most of the debt issued that makes it possible for CoreCivic and GEO Group to expand.  While Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, BNP Paribas, SunTrust and U.S. Bancorp have all extended revolving credit to for-profit private prison companies, Wells Fargo has financed the three largest private prison companies, including Management and Training Corporation.In 2011, a Tennessee divestment campaign pressured Wells Fargo to sell off shares with GEO Group.  However, at the same time it steadily increased financing for CCA through a $785 million line of credit. In 2016, the city of Portland, Ore., and the University of California’s Board of Regents considered divesting from Wells Fargo due to the bank’s financing of for-profit incarceration.Wells Fargo prison investment not out of characterIn 2008, Wells Fargo purchased Wachovia Bank in a $15.1 billion deal. A few years prior to this merger, under pressure from a campaign by Black communities in Chicago, Wachovia Bank issued a public apology for its historic ties to the slave trade in the Americas, including owning enslaved Africans and accepting them as payment.In September 2016, Wells Fargo’s shares fell by $9 billion when it was revealed that bank employees were told to create $185 million in fake customer accounts to collect fees and meet sales quotas.  CEO John Stumpf responded by firing more than 5,300 employees.  In October 2016, Stumpf resigned amidst calls that criminal charges be filed against him.An even more recent call for divestment from Wells Fargo resulted from its financing of the controversial $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline.It is time for the global working class to unite against Wells Fargo and all the banks and Wall Street corporations that profit off our combined suffering.  All out for May Day 2017 in support of immigrant rights!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Creating Space for a Changing Workforce, Part 1

first_imgDell remodels offices around the world to improve comfort, flexibility, and collaboration.Among today’s top tech strategists it has become something of a mantra. It’s been written about in publications such as Forbes , CNN Money and Fast Company, and pronounced by CEOs around the world: Work is no longer a destination, but an activity.With nearly omnipresent internet, easy-to-use video conferencing, and email on our smartphones, the boundaries of the physical office have almost completely dissolved. So how does a 21st-century business, especially one with as many employees as Dell Technologies (almost 140,000 at last count) plan for the future? As Dawn Longacre, Dell’s global workplace strategist asked, “When you can work anywhere, what makes you want to come into the office?”“Work is much more collaborative today, so we need to break down the walls.ShareBuilding the FutureDell has always been focused on ‘building innovation’ – from our first years as a direct-to-market game changer, to the mid-90s, when we constructed one of the world’s largest corporate campuses. Now, with changing workstyles and generational shifts, we’re addressing the evolution of the office space by remodeling our buildings into state-of-the-art environments.“People come to the office for specific purposes – to collaborate; to be more productive; to garner inspiration and innovation from their teammates,” Longacre said. “That’s why we’re creating spaces where people want to work.”Breaking Down Walls “The cubicle was created in the 1960s, and it provides a functional purpose. But work has changed drastically. The management styles and tools we use have evolved,” she said. “Work is much more collaborative today, so we need to break down the walls.”Even if workers commute to a central office, their work is rarely stationary. “Today’s employees aren’t tethered to the desk. So we want them to feel comfortable to collaborate anywhere in the building,” said Terry Burr, senior program manager.Part of that solution is to create common areas that people actually want to use. So Dell’s workplace strategists came up with a smart, straightforward solution (If you’ve ever been to a party where everyone gathers in the kitchen, then you’ll get it).“When you can work anywhere, what makes you want to come into the office?ShareTalking Around the Table In addition to reimagining conference rooms and personal work areas (more on this soon), Dell has begun a major overhaul of its cafeteria spaces. “We have created many more meeting spaces in the cafeteria,” said Burr. “There are new varieties of seating options and furniture – communal seating like benches and off to the side, a two-seater booth for private conversations. I see people in there now, exchanging ideas, at all times of the day. Not just at lunchtime.”Every building’s cafeteria space will be optimized for comfort and collaboration. “You’ll find taller coffee bar tables, picnic tables, lounge seating – plus power outlets for your tech so you can work as long as you want,” adds Longacre. “The goal is to create environments that are inviting with soothing color palates, warm wood and interesting stone textures. It’s more like a coffee shop or restaurant, where you’d hang out for a while and talk.”The renovation doesn’t end at the door. Dell has also expanded and improved the exterior terraces. “Just outside, our employees will find new chaise lounges and patio seating, as well as access to Wi-Fi so you can work outdoors and soak up a little vitamin D,” she said.The JourneyIt’s like a neighborhood,” said Emily Dreyer, director of Global Real Estate Strategy. “When people come together, whether purposely or not, it forces them to talk. Just overhearing something can spark new conversations and ideas.”Feedback from current employees has been overwhelmingly positive, but according to the strategists involved in the process, the renovation could bear long-term benefits for Dell.“This is a journey. So far, people seem to appreciate the changes we’re making. But if our spaces are more collaborative, people will talk more and good things will come of that – they’ll solve problems and create new products,” said Tom Menke, vice president of Global Facilities. “That’s the goal.”Stay tuned for future updates about transformation on Dell campuses around the world.last_img read more

Interpol Swoop Nets 25 Suspected ‘Anonymous’ Hackers

first_imgBy Dialogo March 01, 2012 The statement cited attacks on the websites of the Colombian Ministry of Defense and the presidency, as well as on Chile’s Endesa electricity company and its National Library, among others. They said one of the suspects went by the nicknames Thunder and Pacotron and was suspected of running the computer network used by Anonymous in Spain and Latin America, via servers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. they are genious some are simple cheap thieves that take advantage of the cause to steal .but not everything is hopeless hehheheheheehhe arp –a Jara said the suspects appeared to have hacked web pages in Chile, Colombia and Spain. Anonymous has in recent weeks targeted the websites of a series of police organizations, with subgroup “Antisec” on February 24, vandalizing the website of a major U.S. prison contractor. They were accused of hacking the websites of political parties and companies and adding fangs to the faces of leaders in photographs online, and publishing data identifying top officials’ security guards, Spanish police said. In December 2010, Anonymous attacked the websites of Mastercard, PayPal, Visa and others for blocking donations to WikiLeaks after it began releasing thousands of classified U.S. diplomatic cables. However, it was not clear what evidence there was to prove those arrested were part of Anonymous, an extremely loose-knit international movement of online activists, or “hacktivists.” “Operation Unmask was launched in mid-February following a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain,” said Interpol, based in the French city of Lyon. Anonymous took credit the day before for an online raid on the Los Angeles Police Canine Association and previously attacked websites of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. center_img Police also seized credit cards and cash from the suspects, aged 17 to 40. The operation, carried out after trawling through computer logs in order to trace IP addresses, also netted 10 suspects in Argentina, six in Chile and five in Colombia, Spanish police said. “This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity,” said Bernd Rossbach, Interpol’s acting director of police services. The operation was carried out by police from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain, the statement said, with 250 items of computer equipment and mobile phones seized in raids on 40 premises in 15 cities. In Santiago, deputy prefect Jaime Jara said police confiscated computer equipment belonging to five Chileans and a Colombian, aged between 17 and 23. It has notably defended WikiLeaks when it was facing a funding cutoff and recently collaborated with the anti-secrecy site for the release of a swathe of emails from Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor. Interpol has arrested 25 suspected members of the ‘Anonymous’ hackers group in a swoop covering more than a dozen cities in Europe and Latin America, the global police body said on February 28. Spanish police said earlier they had arrested four suspected hackers accused of sabotaging websites and publishing confidential data on the Internet. last_img read more

Double-digit growth in arrivals and overnight stays from the United States is expected this year

first_img“This year’s appearance at the New York Times Travel Show confirmed Croatia’s popularity as a leading growing destination for Americans and announced another successful year with double-digit growth in arrivals and overnight stays from the United States. Croatia is truly one of the most desirable tourist destinations, supported by market research and booking announcements of major tourism associations such as USTOA, Virtuoso, Signature Travel Network and Travel Leaders Group, as well as numerous articles in leading American media such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Financial Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, USA Today” said Ina Rodin, Director of the CNTB Office in New York. TDuring the last year, they made 655 thousand arrivals and more than 1,8 million overnight stays of American tourists, which represents an annual traffic growth of 12 percent. Among Croatian entities, the CNTB and the tourist boards of the cities of Zagreb, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Split-Dalmatia, Zadar and Lika-Senj counties present their offer in New York.  The main travel trends in the USA market “The presentation of the Croatian tourist offer at the fair in New York is of strategic importance, especially if we know that the American market for Croatia is one of the most important distant markets from which we generate the largest tourist turnover. The continuation of American Airlines flights on the route Philadelphia – Dubrovnik will additionally encourage tourist traffic from the USA this year, and the ultimate goal we are working on intensively is a stronger air connection between the USA and Croatia.” said director Stanicic. In New York from January 24 to 26. the New York Times Travel Show is held, a fair that attracts more than 35 visitors who view the offer of over 700 exhibitors from 175 countries, making this fair the largest tourism fair in North America.center_img Americans in Croatia especially like visits to natural and cultural attractions with an emphasis on UNESCO sites, nautical tourism, active holidays and especially visits to locations where the famous HBO series Game of Thrones was filmed, but also eno-gastronomic experiences. They mostly visit Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb.  By the way, the main trends in American travel last year are multi-generational travel, discovering new destinations and authentic experiences.Live Like A Local”Experience,” transformational “travel, responsible tourism, active tourism and cruises. RELATED NEWS: AT THE END OF 2020, VISAS FOR US WILL BE ABOLISHED?last_img read more

Resaver group eyes personal pension offering for researchers

first_imgThe level of interest in the project appeared “quite reasonable”, according to Filip Hemeryck, cross border pension fund manager and senior consulting actuary at Aon Hewitt in Belgium, which advises Resaver.He said this was based on the number of downloads of the pre-qualification questionnaire, and taking into account that Resaver only carried out limited publicity of the tender.The Belgium-based organisation is primarily targeting mobile individuals who work for a European education or research organisation but do not have an employment contract. This means they cannot join the pension fund it has set up for researchers in different European countries, or most occupational retirement schemes in general.Resaver envisages the targeted private pension products also being available to employees with an employment contract, however.Resaver’s pan-European pension fund came into operation in early 2017.The Resaver consortium launched its private pensions initiative in anticipation of it taking time before EU regulation on a Pan-European Personal Pension Product (PEPP) would be launched.It said its initiative “can be considered as a first step up towards a Pan-European Personal Pension Product helping researchers to ensure easy access to a (private) pensions wherever they go”.The European Commission laid out its proposal for a regulation on a PEPP in June and it is due to be considered by the European Parliament in the first half of this year.The Resaver consortium said it would take several years before the PEPP regulation was fully implemented across the European Economic Area.Its expectation is that the products provided by any successful applicants would be the existing local market pension products.The organisation is aiming to partner with one provider in each of 31 countries covered by the tender. Its role would be strictly limited to facilitating the access to the products through the existing Resaver portal; the personal pension product would be contracted directly between the individual and the selected provider.Resaver expects providers would apply a competitive fee to individual researchers opting for a given product, and that they pay the consortium a fixed annual fee, per country, to cover the its administration costs.Resaver is supported by the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 programme. The organisation behind the Resaver cross-border pension scheme for academic researchers is seeking to facilitate access to personal pension products for such workers.Its initiative is in the first place aimed at freelance researchers.Resaver Consortium is looking for insurance companies and other financial institutions willing to offer third pillar products to individuals working for organisations that are members of the organisation.The original deadline – to fill in a pre-qualification questionnaire – was 26 December but a few days before that date it was extended to the end of January.last_img read more

Thornton doubles up at Marshalltown

first_imgThornton slipped into second and set his sights on the leader.  He then made a slide job work with four laps left in the contest to nab the lead. Thornton sailed home to the win, Rust took second and Ward was third. MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (April 26) – Ricky Thornton Jr. bested both the IMCA Modified and IMCA Sunoco Stock Car features Friday at Marshalltown Speedway. Tony Hofbauer took the lead in the Modified main and kept hold of it until Joel Rust ran him down at halfway.  Rust was looking strong but soon had Tim Ward and then Thornton bearing down on him.  Ricky Thornton Jr. was a double winner Friday night at Marshalltown Speedway, topping both IMCA Modified and IMCA Sunoco Stock Car main events. ((Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography) Jake McBirnie matched his Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod win from last week, and Leah Wroten captured the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock victory. Jarred Daggett led the Stock Car troops in the opening laps only to have Jeff Mueller dig his way to the lead on the bottom at lap three.  There was a fierce battle going on behind Mueller as tenth place starter Thornton was now fending off Jeff Wollam, Daggett and Jay Schmidt. Mueller held on to the runner-up spot and Wollam finished third. Thornton began reeling in Mueller, setting sail on the top of the track, while Mueller held firm to the bottom, and now young Dallon Murty was throwing his hat into the ring as well. Thornton made his top side run work at lap 13 and took over the number one position and then led to the checkers.  By Joyce Eiselelast_img read more

Judge Temporarily Halts Law Banning Felons with Unpaid Fines from Voting

first_imgA federal judge has issued a ruling that temporarily blocks a Republican-supported Florida law which had kept some felons from voting because of their inability to pay fines or other legal debts.The ruling, made on Friday by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, means that thousands of felons who were previously denied the right to vote will now be able to cast ballots – that is, unless the state gets a higher court involved, or if Hinkle decides to uphold the law’s constitutionality.The issue revolves around whether Florida lawmakers can require released felons to pay all outstanding fines, restitution and other legal debts before they have the right to vote restored under last year’s voter-approved Amendment 4.Although Hinkle acknowledged the state’s authority to require payment of fines and other debts in order to complete criminal sentences, he says, “the last word will belong to the Florida Supreme Court.”Both sides are expected to plead their case to Hinkle in April.In his ruling, Hinkle explained that a felon’s inability to pay the fees raises constitutional questions, since about 80 percent of the state’s felons have unpaid financial obligations which are imposed by courts during sentencing.Nearly 1.4 million felons who have completed their sentences had their voting privileges restored under last year’s constitutional amendment.However, the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a bill earlier this week, which Governor Ron DeSantis signed, requiring felons to pay all fines, restitution and other financial obligations to complete their sentences.According to Helen Aguirre Ferre, DeSantis’ spokeswoman, “Today’s ruling affirms the governor’s consistent position that convicted felons should be held responsible for paying applicable restitution, fees and fines while also recognizing the need to provide an avenue for individuals unable to pay back their debts as a result of true financial hardship.”She added that the Governor would consider options “on addressing a pathway for those who are indigent and unable to address their outstanding financial obligations.”The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law went to court earlier this month seeking the preliminary injunction.Julie Ebenstein, an attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, says, “The court held that the right to vote cannot be denied based on a person’s inability to pay fines and fees. This ruling recognizes the gravity of elected officials trying to circumvent Amendment 4 to create voting roadblocks based on wealth.”Secretary of State Laurel Lee says her department is still reviewing the order, but will comply with the ruling while providing guidance to local elections officials.last_img read more

Restaurant Review: Café 28

first_img Goulash, a phyllo dough “pocket” containing a tasty mix of cheese, spinach and lightly sautéed leeks, was real comfort food. Labneh ($6) was impressive. Homemade yogurt simply seasonedwith fresh mint, garlic, and olive oil, was cool and creamy. This, and theother appetizers above, are all meant to be eaten with that excellent pitabread. By Bob Sacks A special of Lamb Shank ($31) was falling-off-the-bonetender, in a richly flavored sauce with carrots, celery and Middle-Easternspices. What wines to take to this BYOB restaurant? As a rule, drywhites with some acidity (Italians or Sauvignon Blancs), or off-dry styles(German or Alsatian Rieslings) also pair well. We enjoyed a fruity and spicySicilian white: 2016 Planeta Etna Blanco paired with those complex flavors ofthe vegetable-based dishes. Want red? Avoid high alcohol, tannic, fruit bombs,like Zinfandel and Cali Cabs, and look to Barberas or Sangiovese-based winesfrom Italy, or Spanish reds. Our choice? 2015 Passopisciaro Contrada P., aSicilian, made from Nerello Mascalese grapes, which displayed red fruits andrefreshing acidity; a bit like a Nebbiolo or Burgundy in style. We led off with Classic Hummus ($6), the chickpeas renderedsmooth and creamy, mixed with tahini (sesame paste), seasoned with fresh limejuice, garlic and olive oil. Served with soft, fresh pita triangles, this washeads above any hummus I have had before. Dessert anyone? The Baklava ($10) was a splendid rendition…crispy, buttery, and flaky.  Kanafeh ($9), crunchy, shredded phyllo dough, layered with acreamy sweet cheese filling and drizzled with rose water syrup, was light andairy, and had great texture. Roz Bel Haleeb (rice pudding baked with bechamelsauce, and topped with pistachios) ($9) was a satisfying riff on thetraditional version.  Likewise, the Baba Ganoush ($7), Char-grilled eggplant,mashed to a fine texture with tahini, fresh lime juice and garlic. Yum! I thought the Goulash with Cheese, Spinach and Leek ($6),wrapped in incredibly flaky phyllo was truly special. Not to be missed. Don’t be concerned about ordering multiple dishes based onthe humble eggplant. Here it is elevated to gourmet status, and every preparationwe ate displayed a unique flavor profile, so each one always tasted fresh andnew. For example, Moussaka ($16) featured thin slices of smoky roastedeggplant, with a tangy tomato sauce and pine nuts, which made for a pleasingcrunch; while the Eggplant Fattah ($22), a delicious mix of grilled eggplant,in a bechamel sauce, and topped with toasted almonds was totally different… awhole other taste sensation. Highly recommended. One bite of his Falafel or Foul, and you’ll feel that love,too! His first restaurant in Red Bank was there for six years, before being relocatedto its present site in Cobblestone Village in Ocean Township about two yearsago. The large dinner and lunch menus, based on fresh ingredients cooked toorder, has something for everyone. Since we were not familiar with all of thedishes, we asked for, and received, expert guidance in ordering from the chef’sson, Karim, our gracious and engaging server. We also enjoyed Koshari ($16), a classic dish of rice,ditalini pasta, lentils, chickpeas and tomato sauce, garnished with a tangle offried onions. center_img Just when I was sure the meal had peaked, out came Foul ($12),stewed fava beans, in a tomato-based sauce, with onion and parsley, and toppedwith hard-boiled egg halves. The subtle seasonings and great mouthfeel madethis memorable.  This dish, as well asalmost all the others, displayed a level of finesse and complexity generallyseen in fine French cooking. Who knew that Egyptian food could be this nuanced,sophisticated, and multidimensional? Falafel ($12); instead of the usual chickpea, or mixed chickpea/favaversion, Mohamed uses all fava beans. Deep fried, greaseless spheres, werecrunchy on the outside, and lush, soft, and creamy inside. My dish of thenight! Another cold appetizer, Mohamara ($6), roasted red peppersblended with onion, breadcrumbs, mixed nuts, and enough chili pepper to give ita kick without being overly hot, was very enjoyable. From the Hot Appetizer section of the menu, Baby Sausage(Suguk) ($8), made from ground lamb, and served in a savory tomato garlicsauce, somewhat reminiscent of a rich marinara sauce, was notable. Rich and creamy on the inside, and crusty on the outside, the Fava Bean Falafel was superb. It must be love! Love of introducing diners to authenticEgyptian cuisine; love of preparing creative food with skill and care; and loveof sharing the story of his journey, that drives Mohamed Elbery to be at Café28 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Much of that time is spent in thekitchen, where this chef/owner handles all the cooking and baking, mostly byhimself. A dish of the night, Foul (Ful) elevated simple stewed fava beans in a deftly seasoned tomato sauce, topped with hard-boiled eggs, to gourmet status. Café 28 is in a class by itself. Thepassion and love that Chef Mohamed puts into his food is readily apparent inevery dish. Be adventurous, go for a meal, experience the food, and feel thevibe…you might just fall in love, too! Café 28 835 W. Park Ave. Ocean Township, NJ 07712 (732) 933-1400 Cafe28.net Bob Sacks, longtime food and wine buff, reviews restaurants in this bimonthly column. Read more reviews here. Follow him on Instagram @dinnerwithboblast_img read more