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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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VIDEO: India rejects Novartis patent

Category : Business

In a landmark ruling India has rejected a patent bid by Novartis that activists say will protect access to cheap generic drugs and save lives in developing nations.

The rest is here: VIDEO: India rejects Novartis patent

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Women’s rights activists protest at Davos – in pictures

Category : Business

Activists from the Ukrainian-based group Femen stage a topless protest for women’s rights at the 43rd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

See the article here: Women’s rights activists protest at Davos – in pictures

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Pinkification: how breast cancer awareness got commodified for profit | SE Smith

Category : Business

What began as a social movement serving urgent health needs for women has been hollowed out by cynical marketeering

The breast cancer awareness industry has become a multibillion dollar juggernaut spanning multiple continents, flooding them with a sea of pink ribbons and tie-in products intended to entice socially aware consumers. Buy enough pink things, and you, too, will conquer cancer; the next level of awareness is always a step away, and with it will come some magical development in breast cancer research. Breast cancer has become a product, not just a disease.

It’s a far cry from the early origins of the movement, when women fought hard to even get people to acknowledge that breast cancer existed, let alone talk about it. Breast cancer was a deeply taboo subject that wasn’t fit for polite society, and it needed the ferocious efforts of feminists, and other activists, to catapult it into the public consciousness and fight for research, along with funding for treatment and patient support.

In conversations about the direction the “awareness” movement has taken, it’s important to examine its early roots, and the things people did to make society more conscious and force a discussion. The gradual commodification of breast cancer reflected a failure of the movement, in that it wasn’t able to adapt quickly enough to fight the commercialisation of breast cancer awareness. Now, groups like Breast Cancer Action are having to fight cancer on two fronts: battling for patients, as well as fighting the rise of pinkification.

The group points out that many of the products tied to breast cancer awareness are themselves linked with cancer, or are produced by firms with a terrible record on environmental pollution and other activities known to contribute to high cancer rates. In the course of trying to make a difference, a monster was created instead.

Activists who fought to take breast cancer mainstream obviously didn’t do so with the end goal of pink yoghurt lids in every grocery store. Their goal was to increase funding for research, treatment and support for a disease that went largely undiscussed; one that women were told to be ashamed of, a condition that was so horrifyingly embarrassing that patients had to conceal it by any means possible. They wanted to create a world where cancer rates were lower and patients got the care they needed. They also wanted a world where patients didn’t need to hide the fact that they were sick.

They wanted to create a world where the words “breast cancer” weren’t stigmata. And the original pink ribbon campaign didn’t start as a canny branding move to rake in profits for major corporations, but rather as a symbol of solidarity. Survivors wore the ribbons as open marks of their survival, to identify themselves not just to other survivors, but to society in general. A signal that they were alive, not going anywhere and determined to talk about the disease they’d experienced.

But slowly, the pink ribbon came to mean something else. Rather than being a symbol of survival and strength, it became more generally a symbol of support, and then it was appropriated by firms that wanted to slap pink ribbons on their products for more profits. The Komen campaign realised it had a goldmine on its hands and it started aggressively protecting the pink ribbon brand. As the organization grew in size and power, it became harder and harder for activists to fight the commodification it promoted and the unhealthy business relationships it had with firms that wanted to exploit the ribbon, along with survivors and activists interested in directly addressing breast cancer.

The path of the pink ribbon, and breast cancer awareness in general, reflects a larger problem experienced by social movements. It seems that every time they develop a tool of solidarity and something to use as they work in a coalition to address a specific social issue, that tool is handily repurposed for profits – and before anyone can move to take it back, it’s too late. Social movements in general can be excruciatingly slow to adapt to changing circumstances, just as the breast cancer awareness movement was.

A movement that started with powerful intentions became commercial, gender-essentialist and repugnant in many of its mainstream incarnations, even as smaller campaigns and voices actively agitated against its framing. Those who oppose the use of sexism and gender essentialism in breast cancer campaigns are cast as opponents of action on breast cancer. In a strange twist, the people demanding that major breast cancer awareness campaigners be accountable first and foremost to patients are told they don’t care about breast cancer patients.

When patients are saying they don’t want to be reduced to their anatomy with cutesy slogans like “save the ta-tas”, and that they’re enraged by pink ribbon branding of products known to be cancerous, they’re told the cause is more important than their feelings. When people at higher risk for breast cancer express concerns about the failure of outreach campaigns to reach them or acknowledge their experiences, we’re told we aren’t standing in solidarity with the movement and should be silent in the name of the greater good.

The willful obstinacy when it comes to denying the voices of people who want to see the movement return to purer roots is, of course, one part pure capitalism. Big firms have learned that breast cancer is a profit-generation tool, and they aren’t willing to give it up. It’s also one part insistence on neglecting the diversity of voices in the community. Just as mainstream feminism has failed many people simply by refusing to listen to them, the mainstream breast cancer movement has failed many people by pretending their concerns don’t exist.

Adaptation is a tough skill, but it’s critical for social movements. It’s also not impossible. Look, for example, at the way the black community has shifted organising strategies and priorities in response to changing social circumstances, with flexible leadership and members interested in addressing shifting needs. Contrast that with the white-led mainstream breast cancer awareness movement and its determined ignorance on social issues that affect the people it claims to advocate for.

Debating points for Labour activists

Category : Business

Your editorial (Start preparing for government, 1 October) is too cautious in remarking that there “could” be an early election. It should instead have demanded that Labour wakes up to the fact that there must be one. The only way to halt the coalition’s blitzkrieg on the NHS and other social services is to begin now to campaign for an election in 2013. What is depressing about the public utterances of Labour spokespeople is their passive acceptance of a 2015 election date, doubtless because of its perceived advantage of allowing for a languid lining up of policy ducks.

The urgent need for an Election 2013 campaign should be discussed in the canteens and bars at Manchester this week, and if the idea is accepted Labour activists need to start planning for a vote of no confidence in this government as soon as possible. This will need discussion and agreement with non-cabinet Lib Dem MPs, but could have enormous electoral advantage for both parties as well as rapidly helping the majority of the electorate they represent. Ensuring the country doesn’t have to endure two further years of this heartless, ruinous coalition is a political agenda that would surely reflect why most non-Tory activists and MPs are involved in politics.
Colin Hines
Twickenham, Middlesex

• Following the letter from Labour party activists, trade unionists and NHS campaigners (29 September) calling on Labour to take a strong stand on rebuilding the NHS, constituency delegates to conference voted to make the health service their number one priority for discussion this week.

Seventeen motions on the NHS have been submitted and, on Wednesday morning there will be a vote on a clear composite motion calling for repeal of the Tories’ disastrous Health and Social Care Act, reversal of cuts and privatisation, and reorganisation of the NHS as a genuine public service.

As proposer of the motion, I am calling on the party leadership to give this motion their full support and commit publicly to the policies it contains. Millions are looking to the Labour party to take a clear stand in defence of the NHS. We must not let them down.
Pat Smith
Labour conference delegate from Hull North constituency Labour party

• I buy the Guardian because I want an honest opinion about our society and the politicians who govern us. Your article The making of Miliband as a force for change (29 September) makes me wonder whether I’m asking too much. Apparently, Ed Miliband has shown “a capacity to shift the tempo of the mainstream conversation”. This is not true. If Nick Clegg is the invisible man in British politics, Miliband is the forgotten man. I don’t recall any key issue of the last six months where he has made a decisive contribution. It has been left to those who envy his position as party leader to take the fight to the government.
Tom Rogers

• One obvious way for Labour to recapture the votes of millions of women is to commit to filling the gap left when this government abolished the internationally admired Women’s National Commission in its bonfire of the quangos.

Today women have no voice, just when they are bearing disproportionately the effect of the cuts (Huge rises in joblessness for women over 50, 29 September). The UK women’s NGOs have submitted proposals for a new institutional mechanism to represent women, to comply with the requirements of the UN Beijing Platform for Action, but no one in this government seems to be listening. We hope Labour will.
Margaret Owen
Former member of the WNC

• Labour MP Keith Vaz says G4S is a “fiasco” (G4S boss survives Olympics shambles, 29 September). So why on earth is Labour still using G4S for its conference this week?
John Nicholson

• Much has been said about Ed Miliband standing against his brother for election as Labour leader (Comment, 29 September). I have not heard of anyone complaining that David Miliband did exactly the same thing.
Marguerite Hegley

No on Measure B Campaign to Hold Press Conference Announcing Los Angeles Business Groups’ Support

Category : World News

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwire – Sep 19, 2012) – The No on Government Waste Committee, a coalition of business groups, entertainment industry firms, performers, healthcare professionals and community activists is holding a press conference at 9:30 AM, on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 to announce the endorsement of leading Los Angeles County business groups in opposition to Measure B, the so-called Safer Sex Initiative on the Nov. 6th ballot.

The rest is here: No on Measure B Campaign to Hold Press Conference Announcing Los Angeles Business Groups’ Support

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Greenpeace storms Arctic oil platform

Category : Business

Greenpeace activists board Kremlin state-owned oil platform in Arctic in protest at rate of ice melting

Greenpeace has signalled its determination to try to halt the Kremlin’s march into the Arctic with activists led by its executive director boarding an oil platform belonging to state-owned Gazprom.

It is the first time that the green group has taken “direct action” against the Russian drilling and comes amid alarming new evidence about the speed with which Arctic sea ice is melting.

Six environmentalists in inflatable boats launched from Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship approached the Prirazlomnaya rig 600 miles east of Murmansk and used mooring lines to climb the rig and attach a “portaledge” to the side of it.

Kumi Naidoo, the executive director of the green group, unfurled a banner in Russian reading “Save the Arctic!” before the crew of the Russian platform attacked them with water hoses.

“Like Shell’s reckless plans to drill in Alaska, it’s not a question of if an oil spill will happen, but when. The only way to prevent a catastrophic oil spill happening in this unique environment is to permanently ban all drilling now,” said Naidoo.

Gazprom Neft Shelf, the Gazprom subsidiary that holds the licence for the field, said the Greenpeace activists were invited to come on board for a “constructive dialogue” but they declined. The campaigners later called off the protest.

Russia has long had ambitions to produce lots of oil and gas from the Arctic and has recently signed Arctic agreements with western firms such as ExxonMobil to kickstart the campaign. The Prirazlomnaya – a steel structure, part of which was used previously to produce oil on the Hutton field in the UK North Sea – is an all-Russian pioneering venture that hopes to start producing hydrocarbons from next summer.

Some of the estimated 526million barrels of oil in the field would be loaded on to tankers in the Arctic and carried back to Murmansk or perhaps direct to petroleum centres such as Rotterdam.

Greenpeace, which has confronted other Arctic drillers such as Cairn Energy off Greenland and is trying to stop Shell working off Alaska, has put the far north at the centre of its current campaigning.

It recently claimed that Gazprom’s oil spill response plan for the platform had expired and says any drilling without a new plan in place would be illegal.

But the Kremlin has recently announced plans to crack down on “foreign” non-governmental organisations and the court sentences against Pussy Riot female punk and protest band indicate Russia is in no mood for internal or outside criticism.

Obama threatens Syria with US military action if Assad regime crosses ‘RED … – Daily Mail

Category : Stocks

Daily Mail
Obama threatens Syria with US military action if Assad regime crosses 'RED
Daily Mail
By AP Reporter Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama said the use of chemical or biological weapons would considerably widen a conflict that has already dragged on for a year-and-a-half and killed some 20000 people, according to activists.
Activists Say Birthplace of Syrian Uprising Is Under SiegeNew York Times
Obama warns Syria against using WMDDetroit Free Press
Obama threatens intervention in SyriaSan Francisco Chronicle

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Japan activists land, raise flags on disputed isle – The Associated Press

Category : Stocks

Sydney Morning Herald
Japan activists land, raise flags on disputed isle
The Associated Press
SENKAKU ISLANDS, Japan (AP) — Japanese activists swam ashore and raised flags Sunday on an island claimed by both Japan and China, fanning an escalating territorial dispute between the two Asian powers. Some 10 activists made an unauthorized landing on
Japanese activists land on Diaoyu IslandsXinhua
Protests build in China over Japan island rowAFP
Japan, China islands disputes deepen with landings, protestsReuters India

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Newspaper review: Pussy Riot sentencing criticised – BBC News

Category : Stocks

BBC News
Newspaper review: Pussy Riot sentencing criticised
BBC News
Punk band Pussy Riot, sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism after their protest in a Moscow cathedral, appear on the front of the Guardian. The paper says prosecution is becoming President Vladimir Putin's weapon of choice against dissent.
US, Europe condemn two-year sentences for Pussy RiotThe Australian
Activists get 2 years for anti-Putin church
Pussy Riot case a Putin power gameHerald Sun
The Seattle Times

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Japan to Deport 14 Chinese Arrested for Disputed Island Landing – Businessweek

Category : Stocks

New York Times
Japan to Deport 14 Chinese Arrested for Disputed Island Landing
By Takashi Hirokawa and Isabel Reynolds on August 16, 2012 Japan said it will deport 14 Chinese nationals arrested for visiting an island in the East China Sea claimed by both countries, defusing an incident that revived tensions between Asia's two
Japan to deport Chinese held over island landingCNN International
Japan Plans to Deport Chinese on IslandNew York Times
Japan to send back Chinese sea activists to avoid rowReuters
ABC Online

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