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REDEYE 7/11/18

Billion$ in profits caging immigrant kids
NYT, 6/22 — …Housing [and] transporting…migrant children detained along the southwestern border is not a million-dollar business.
It’s a billion-dollar one.
…Southwest Key Programs has won at least $955 million in federal contracts since 2015 to run shelters…[for] immigrant children in federal custody….Southwest Key is but one player in the lucrative secretive world of the migrant shelter business. About a dozen contractors operate more than 30 facilities in Texas alone, with…about 100 shelters in 16 other states.
…There is a migrant-shelter hub…in the four-county Rio Grande Valley region of South Texas [with]…about a dozen shelters….What happens inside is often highly confidential:...employees sign nondisclosure agreements, more a fixture of the high-stakes corporate world than of non-profit child-care centers….
Trump’s order…calling for migrant families to be detained together likely means millions more in contracts for private shelter operators, construction companies and defense contractors.
A…network of private prison companies already is operating family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania,…and are likely to expand under the new presidential directive….
…Several large defense contractors…are also building a presence in the system, including General Dynamics….
The migrant-shelter business has been booming since family separations began on a large scale….
For years, including during the Obama administration, contractors housed children who were…crossing the border….
The shelters’ rush to house, and cash in on the surge of children [under Obama] …. includ[es] Southwest Key, whose president and chief executive, Juan Sanchez’s….tax records show…compensation — more than $770,000 in 2015 alone….
…Officials have investigated allegations of sexual abuse and neglectful supervision in numerous facilities.

Total U.S. killing of civilians discounts troops’ secret actions in 130 countries
NYT, 6/16, letter to editor — The Pentagon’s account of civilians killed by American military action is unreliable. One reason,…is the blackout on civilian casualty figures for countries in which the United States conducts strikes in secret. And there are many.
While the Trump administration lists seven countries in which the United States…is using military force, Special Operations Command has admitted that…its forces had already been deployed to 137 countries.
Another reason,…is the definition of the word “civilian.” The Pentagon…term…mean[s] “whomever we didn’t intend to kill” rather than “what the law requires.”
This excludes people it wrongly intended to kill because of bad intelligence, false presumptions of combatant status and…because the United States wrongly applies law-of-war rules for killing in places where the United States is not at war.
(Gabor Rona, professor at Cardoza Law School)
Macron, “president of the rich” cuts welfare
NYT, 6/16 — The French president…Emmanuel Macron dislikes being called “president of the rich,” but…it is the one [label] he can’t shake.
…The cost of the new presidential dinner service is unlikely to help.
…Macron is ordering…1,200 plates from a porcelain factory in Sèvres that is heavily subsidized by the state….
…At a moment when Mr. Macron was…complaining…that French welfare spending costs “a truckload of cash,” those fancy new plates….require “at least five hours of work — it’s all made by hand….”
…The cost of the plates….[are] a total of nearly $600,000….
For Sèvres, “the subsidy remains…four million euros.” [$5 million]
France: workers strike, masses march to defy Macron, singing The Internationale
NYT, 6/13 — René Bodiou, a 75-year-old…retired union member….summed up a feeling shared by many on the street…: “Macron does not speak to those who are poor, who sleep on the ground; he speaks to…the entrepreneurs….”
Several hundred thousand union workers have taken to the streets of France this year….
…Four railroad unions staged the biggest strikes…and holding protests from Paris to Marseilles, and Nantes to Lyon….
For the strikers,…many hoped that in the face of Macron…people would clamor for a return….to the heady days of May 1968 when laborers and students joined hands and for a month brought the country to a standstill and won unprecedented gains….
…People stopped along the route for the traditional sandwich of Moroccan merguez sausage on a baguette,…a sign of solidarity with many immigrant workers who came from the Magreb region of northwestern Africa….
…The marchers [chanted] “The truncheon’s blow is free; the university also must be.”
“Macron is screwed; the railroad workers are in the street.” (It rhymes in French.)….
…Solidarity,…it is all together that we will win….
People set up stands selling…a collection of red-covered books — a color associated with…communism. There were classics of Karl Marx, “The Commune of Paris” and “Value, Price and Profit” as well as…“The Communist Manifesto,” and Lenin’s “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism….”
The leftists who marched….called for all workers to unite and sang the “Internationale,” the communist anthem.
India’s capitalist ‘democracy’: lack of water killing 200,000 a year
NYT, 6/18 — …In the Himalayan resort….Shimla’s decrepit network of water pipes, built under British colonial rule more than 70 years ago,….in May left some homes without water for 20 days….
…The water…crisis…[is] threatening millions of lives and livelihoods. Some 600 million Indians, about half the population, face high to extreme water scarcity conditions, with about 200,000 dying every year from inadequate access to safe water….
…[Shimla’s] ancient pipe system also leaks five million liters of water every day….
…In the rare instances when tap water flows, it is dirty and undrinkable.


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