MANAGUA: Violeta Chamorro, Nicaragua's first female president, was hospitalised on Monday and placed in intensive care after an apparent stroke, her family said.Chamorro, 88, was taken to a hospital in the capital Managua and was in a "delicate" state, her family said in a statement.Chamorro was the first woman elected as a head of state in the Americas after she unseated Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega as Nicaraguan president in 1990. She ruled until early 1997.The wife of a popular opposition newspaper editor during Anastasio Somoza's dictatorship, Chamorro took over the daily La Prensa after her husband's assassination and later directed its criticism of the socialist Sandinistas.She is best remembered for ending the rule of Ortega, a Cold War nemesis of the United States who defied the U.S.-backed rightwing Contras that tried to overthrow the Sandinista government that ousted Somoza.Ortega reclaimed the presidency in 2006 and is currently facing calls for his resignation after … [Read more...] about Chamorro, Nicaragua’s first female president, hospitalised
Proposed social security cuts
By Alissa Tedesco Opinion Jon Herriot Katie Boone Mon., Aug. 6, 2018 Consider a patient. let’s call him Sam, who has heart disease, type 2 diabetes and is experiencing homelessness. Last year Sam would have received only $337 per month on Ontario Works (OW). With the changes that were scheduled for this year, Sam would have received a 3 per cent rate increase and an incentive to work with fewer clawbacks on his monthly OW cheques. This extra money meant he might be able to purchase fresh food to improve his diabetic control and new shoes to prevent worsening of his diabetic foot infection. Alana is a basic income pilot recipient who recently shared her story with the Toronto Star. Her mental health had improved on a guaranteed income. She had applied to college and had started looking for a part-time job. Last Tuesday, our hearts collectively sank as Premier Doug Ford’s Conservatives announced devastating changes to Ontario’s social … [Read more...] about Doug Ford’s social assistance cuts put Ontario’s health at risk
Labour representatives have slammed a proposal to help employers offset a minimum wage hike by allowing them to reduce their contributions to the Social Security Fund (SSF). The national wage committee, which is made up of representatives from the government, businesses and labour unions, resolved last Wednesday to increase the daily minimum wage by between 5 and 22 baht, but its plans to relieve the extra financial burden on employers have come under heavy criticism.Labour rights groups have no problems with the idea of reducing employers' tax contributions from April 1, when the new rates take effect, but slashing employer contributions to the SSF is unacceptable, Manas Kosol, chief of the Employee Social Security Network, said.Employers' representatives on the wage committee suggested the government reduce their contributions by 1% for a period of one year. At the moment, they pay 5% of employees' monthly salaries into the SSF, which also receives contributions from employees … [Read more...] about Cut to employer SSF payments takes flak
WASHINGTON: The Trump administration is preparing to withhold tens of millions of dollars from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, cutting the year's first contribution by more than half or perhaps entirely, and making additional donations contingent on major changes to the organisation, according to US officials. President Donald Trump hasn't made a final decision, but appears more likely to send only $60 million of the planned $125 million first instalment to the UN Relief and Works Agency, said the officials, who weren't authorised to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.Future contributions would require the agency, facing heavy Israeli criticism, to demonstrate significant changes in operations, they said, adding that one suggestion under consideration would require the Palestinians to first re-enter peace talks with Israel.The State Department said Sunday that "the decision is under review. There are still deliberations taking place." The White … [Read more...] about US to cut funds for UN’s Palestinian relief
Leaders of the six riparian countries of the Lancang-Mekong, namely China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, are to meet Wednesday and Thursday in Phnom Penh for the 2nd Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Leaders' Meeting. On the agenda is endorsement of a Five-year Plan of Action and a declaration outlining commitment to cooperation on key issues, including shared governance of the Lancang-Mekong River. The meeting -- and China's leadership role within it -- comes at a critical time for the Mekong River; the lifeblood of the region and its people. The Mekong urgently needs meaningful cooperation that involves all riparian countries and gives due priority to environmental protection and the human rights of river-basin communities. This includes effective measures to address the transboundary impacts of hydropower dams and other developments on the basin.Infrastructure development is escalating within the Lancang-Mekong Basin, with profound implications for the future of the … [Read more...] about Can regional cooperation secure the Mekong’s future?