Extreme poverty and inequality in America and Britain are the result of a political choice that is causing millions to suffer – but neither is inevitable and they are fixable. Bad narratives underpin and enable bad policy. We saw that all too clearly when austerity was rolled out across the UK after the financial crisis. So, we need to construct a new narrative; one that reflects the reality of people’s lives, not an imagined one-dimensional “scrounger” or “skiver”. And we need a narrative that starts from the premise that all of us have the right to live with dignity and without impoverishment. The dominant poverty narrative, as the US scholar Chuck Collins so succinctly puts it – that we are where we economically deserve to be – has deep roots. … [Read more...] about ‘Being poor is not inevitable or due to personal flaws. I know, I’ve been there’
As long ago as 1998, the complex challenges of stroke diagnosis began to intrigue an inquisitive Scottish neuroscientist named Nicholas Dale. He takes up the story: “Some strokes are really obvious. The brain scan shows exactly what’s happened, and everyone is in agreement. But then there are those strokes where the brain scan doesn’t really show anything, even though the symptoms are there. Those are what you might call ‘possible strokes’. What is a clinician supposed to do?” To this last question, Dale would come eventually up with an answer about the size of a thumbnail: the SMARTChip. … [Read more...] about In search of the stroke detector
A political coup in any German state would make for a countrywide political frenzy. But the ousting of the popular Ramelow this month by the Christian Democrats (CDU) and Liberals (FDP), acting in concert with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), was particularly galling. With a margin of only one vote, they removed Ramelow as minister-president and replaced him with an obscure West German liberal, Thomas Kemmerich, whose party has a minuscule five seats in the Thuringian parliament. In a country that prides itself on honouring political taboos, the apparent coordination between conservatives and the AfD cut through the cordon sanitaire that has long forbidden mainstream parties from working with the far right. It didn’t help that the Thuringian AfD brand is home to the most outspoken white nationalist in German politics, Björn Höcke, who greeted Kemmerich in a scene that political pundits compared to Paul von Hindenburg shaking hands with Hitler almost 100 … [Read more...] about Germany’s centre could break apart after Angela Merkel is gone
Even at $60.5m plus the cost of renting Soldier Field, it could prove value for money if the Fire successfully relaunch, improve on the field and expand their fanbase. New MLS arrivals must splash out $150m for an expansion fee in addition to sourcing anywhere from $200m-400m for a new stadium – all in order to entice crowds that will be perhaps half the size of Seattle or Atlanta, in a league where player salaries are rising and ticket sales remain a critical revenue source in the absence of Europe-style broadcast mega-deals. … [Read more...] about Why Chicago Fire plan to pay $60m to move back to an NFL stadium
But although Varoufakis is doubtless right that it would be rational to pre-emptively remove this threat of probable future defaults, the eurozone is institutionally incapable of doing so at this juncture. It completely lacks the decision-making capacity - such is the dispersal of power between the member states and their respective parliaments. … [Read more...] about Is there any way Greece can avoid default?