Sleeping on a tiled classroom floor, sharing cigarettes and always on the lookout for police raids, the students of Carmela Carvajal primary and secondary school are living a revolution. It began early one morning in May, when dozens of teenage girls emerged from the predawn darkness and scaled the spiked iron fence around Chile's most prestigious girl's school. They used classroom chairs to barricade themselves inside and settled in. Five months later, the occupation shows no signs of dying and the students are still fighting for their goal: free university education for all. A tour of the school is a trip into the wired reality of a generation that boasts the communication tools that feisty young rebels of history never dreamed of. When police forces move closer, the students use restricted Facebook chat sessions to mobilise. Within minutes, they are able to rally support groups from other public schools in the neighbourhood. "Our lawyer lives over there," said Angelica Alvarez, 14, … [Read more...] about Chilean girls stage ‘occupation’ of their own school in education rights protest
100 day loans
Chucky Taylor stood in the garage of a villa on the outskirts of Liberia's capital, gun in hand. Outside, crimson puddles of rain pocked the red-clay road to Monrovia. By Chucky's side was a spectral figure named Benjamin Yeaten, known as '50' to the legion of mercenaries and former child soldiers he and Chucky commanded. In front of the two men, bleeding and terrified, was a university student accused of aiding a rebel army that was working its way through the jungle towards the capital. It was July 2002, and civil war had been rampaging through Liberia for 13 years, transforming one of Africa's oldest democracies into a ghoulish landscape. Drugged-out militias manned checkpoints decorated with human intestines and severed heads. Small children were forced into battle by the thousands. Women were raped and turned into sex slaves known as 'bush wives'. Enemies were disembowelled, cooked and cannibalised. All told, human rights groups estimate, more than 600,000 Liberians were murdered, … [Read more...] about The all-American warlord
Marc Brown loves to shop at BrightHouse. Over the past couple of years, he has bought a television, two sofas and a hi-fi from the store, and today he has come in to buy two tablet computers, one for himself and one for his mother. With BrightHouse there is no need to pay straight away; instead, the price is divided into small weekly chunks, repayable over the next few years. Since he began shopping with BrightHouse, his weekly payments have gradually notched up. Once the cost of the new tablets is added, Marc, 38, a former Southwark council employee who lost his job in 2007, will be paying BrightHouse £103 a week. He receives about £140 a week in benefits payments, leaving him £37 a week for everything else. "My mum helps with the bills," he says. His enthusiasm for the model is undented by the steep weekly charge. He likes the system for its "affordability". In the post-recession reshaping of the British high street, there have been several notable winners: … [Read more...] about Buy now, regret later? The secret of BrightHouse’s success
A jittery, volatile week on global financial markets has burst into a frenzy of selling, triggered by heavy losses on Wall Street and comments by Donald Trump describing US interest rate rises as “crazy”. Europe suffered heavy losses in morning trading on Thursday. The Stoxx 600 index, which tracks the biggest shares in the region, tumbled by 1.6% to its lowest level since the start of February 2017. The MSCI world stock index hit an eight-month low. The sell-off has dragged the FTSE 100 index into a correction – the blue-chip index has now lost more than 10% of its value since May, when it traded at an all-time high of 7,903. The FTSE was down 128 points on Thursday morning, sliding 1.8% to 7,017.39. Asian markets were also in the red. The Nikkei index in Tokyo lost 4%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 3.8% and the Shanghai market tumbled 5.2%. In Australia the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 2.7%, suffering its worst one-day fall since February. … [Read more...] about World stock markets dive as Trump attacks ‘crazy’ US rate hikes
A volatile week across global stock markets has escalated into a frenzied sell-off, with European stock markets plunging to their lowest level in 20 months on Thursday. In the UK the FTSE 100 fell to a six-month low after Wall Street suffered its biggest drop in eight months, with the Dow Jones losing more than 800 points. Why are markets tanking? The sell-off is being fuelled by concerns over rising US interest rates, political uncertainty in Italy, mounting trade tensions between the US and China, and crises in emerging markets such as Turkey and Argentina. Donald Trump added to the pressure by branding the US Federal Reserve “crazy” for planning further rate rises. The US economy is booming, prompting the Fed to raise rates to keep a lid on inflation. Rising interest rates mean higher borrowing costs for companies and individuals, such as higher mortgage rates. Investors are fearful that firms and consumers will struggle to cope with higher costs. Charlie Ripley, a … [Read more...] about Why are markets plunging and which stocks are worst hit?