REDEYE 4/4/18

Trump’s education secretary promotes virulent racism
NYT (op-ed, Michelle Goldberg), 3/13 — CBS’s “60 Minutes” broadcast an interview…with Betsy DeVos,…Trump’s education secretary and one of the richest members of his very rich cabinet….DeVos struggled to answer very basic questions….Why schools in Michigan, her home state, have largely gotten worse since the widespread introduction of the school choice policies she lobbied for….DeVos is oblivious about “race….” refused to even admit that…[it] plays a role in discipline….
…Evidence…says minority students are more likely than white students in similar situations to be written up and disciplined….
…White kids are punished for classroom disruption by a trip to the principal’s office, while for black kids they call in the cops. DeVos refused to say such a discrepancy is wrong….
…Black public school students are suspended at 3.8 times the rate of white students…. [In] one elementary school…a black girl was suspended for poking a student with a pencil. When a white girl in the same grade threw a rock that hit another child in the head and broke the teacher’s sunglasses, she was made to help the teacher clean the classroom during lunch.
China’s ‘communist’ billionaire lawmakers’ ‘Great Leap Forward’
NYT, 3/3 — …Chinese lawmakers have plenty of money — $650 billion of it — and that’s growing….
…The net worth of the 153 members of China’s Parliament and its advisory body…amounts to $650 billion, up by nearly a third from a year ago….
…The wealth of the nation’s lawmakers has kept soaring. In 2017, it topped $500 billion, more than doubling from the year before….
…China added 210 billionaires over the past year — about four a week — 40 percent more than the United States….The [“]Communist[”] Party, which was founded to work for the interests of workers and stamp out capitalism, welcomed businesspeople into the party more than a decade ago.
Ivanka Trump’s shoe workers slave away at $30 a month
(NYT, 2/11) — …Producers of Ivanka Trump’s shoes recently relocated,…chasing a more desperate work force “content” to work for a pittance (roughly $30 a month) rather than paying the rising wages of their predecessors….
[Meanwhile] when wages rise because of…labor unrest, the Chinese government is happy to help Apple and others by handing out tax breaks and transportation projects to spur new, lower-paying factories in China’s hinterlands. No such help is on tap for a worker…living in places like Flint, Michigan, which can’t even guarantee the water is safe.
National Geographic spread extraordinary racism
NYT, 3/14 — “Through most of its history, National Geographic…reproduced a racial hierarchy with brown and black people at the bottom, and white people at the top.”
….Black people were presented as static, primitive and non-technological, often unclothed or presented as savages….That image…shaped how the magazine’s readers — largely white and middle class — perceived black people….
…Blatant examples of racism includ[ed] a 1916 story about Australia that included the photo caption: “South Australian Blackfellows: These savages rank lowest in intelligence of all human beings….”
The magazine was far from alone in racist coverage…but it was considered a leader in photography.
U.S. workers’ poverty among world’s deepest
NYT (op-ed, Angus Deaton), 1/25 —There are 5.3 million Americans who are absolutely poor by global standards….It is more than in Nepal (2.5 million)….It is precisely the cost and difficulty of housing that makes for so much misery for so many Americans, and it is precisely these costs that are missed in the World Bank’s global counts….
…Essentials of health are more likely to be lacking for poorer Americans and there are places — the Mississippi Delta and much of Appalachia — where life expectancy is lower than in Bangladesh and Vietnam.
Many Americans, especially whites with no more than a high school education, have seen worsening health….For this group life expectancy is falling; mortality rates from drugs, alcohol and suicide are rising…There are millions of Americans whose suffering, through material poverty and poor health is as bad or worse than that of poor people in Africa or in Asia….
…It is time to stop thinking that only non-Americans are truly poor….especially when they are as destitute as the world’s poorest people.


REDEYE 3/21/18

@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { }

Election Interference? The CIA Anti-Communist Specialists Outdo the Russians

(Editor’s Note: The Russians may have learned something about foreign election interference from U.S. rulers, the masters at it. Quoted entirely from the NY Times, Feb. 18.)

Bags of cash delivered to a Rome hotel for favored Italian candidates. Scandalous stories leaked to foreign newspapers to swing an election in Nicaragua. Millions of pamphlets, posters and stickers printed to defeat an incumbent in Serbia.

The long arm of Vladimir Putin? No, just a small sample of the United States’ history of intervention in foreign elections….

Steven Hall, retired…after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations….[said] The United States “absolutely” has carried out such election influence operations historically…and I hope we keep doing it.”

Loch Johnson, the dean of American intelligence scholars…says Russia’s 2016 operation was simply the cyber-age version of standard United States practice for decades, whenever American officials were worried about a foreign vote.

“We’ve been doing this kind of thing since the C.I.A. was created in 1947….We’ve used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners — you name it. We’ve planted false information in foreign newspapers. We’ve used what the British call ‘King George’s cavalry’: suitcases of cash….

The C.I.A. helped overthrow elected leaders in Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s and backed violent coups in several other countries in the 1960s. It plotted assassinations and supported brutal anti-Communist governments in Latin America, Africa and Asia….

A Carnegie Mellon scholar, Dov Levin, has scoured the historical record for both overt and covert election influence operations. He found 81 by the United States and 36 by the Soviet Union or Russia between 1946 and 2000….

His findings underscore how routine election meddling by the United States — sometimes covert and sometimes overt — has been….established in Italy with assistance to non-Communist candidates from the late 1940s to the 1960s. “We had bags of money that we delivered to selected politicians to defray their expenses,” said Mark Wyatt, a former C.I.A. officer….

Richard Bissell, who ran the agency’s operations in the late 1950s and early 1960s, wrote…of exercising control over a newspaper or broadcasting station, or of securing the outcome in an election.” A…report on the C.I.A.’s work in Chile’s 1964 election boasts of the “hard work” the agency did supplying “large sums” to its favored candidate and portraying him as a “wise, sincere and high-minded statesman” [Pinochet] while painting his leftist opponent as a “calculating schemer.”

C.I.A. officials told Mr. [Loch] Johnson…that “insertions” of information into foreign news media…sometimes false, were running at 70 to 80 a day. In the 1990 election in Nicaragua, the C.I.A. planted stories about corruption in the leftist Sandinista government, Mr. Levin said. The opposition won….

The hand of the United States reached boldly into a Russian election. American fears that Boris Yeltsin would be defeated for re-election as president in 1996 by an old-fashioned Communist led to an overt and covert effort to help him, urged on by President Bill Clinton. It included an American push for a $10 billion International Monetary Fund loan to Russia for four months before the voting….

In recent decades, the most visible American presence in foreign politics has been taxpayer-funded groups like the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute…which teach basic campaign skills…and train election monitors….

In 2016 the Endowment gave 108 grants totaling $6.8 million to organizations in Russia for…”engaging activists” and “fostering civic engagement….”

What the C.I.A. may have done in recent years to steer foreign elections is still secret and may not be known for decades.

W. Virginia teachers strike inspired by ‘mine wars’
NYT, 3/3 — …Tired of low pay and costly health benefits….teachers have refused to work in all 55 counties, shutting down every school in the state.
The teachers disregarded their own union leaders’ advice to return to work earlier this week, opting instead for a thunderous showdown with members of the state’s increasingly conservative leadership….
Smaller walkouts began in early February, organized by the sons and daughters of coal miners who stood on the picket lines themselves. “When I was in diapers, he was involved in a mine strike,” Justin Endicott, 34, a fourth-grade teacher…said of his father….
It is not a surprise to anyone here that the first teacher strikes came out of coal country. This was the battlefield of…a series of deadly battles in the early 20th century between coal miners and armies of law enforcement and company-hired soldiers. Among the people who fought in these wars was the great-grandfather of Brandon Wolford, a major organizer of the strikers in Mingo County.
In 1920, thousands of miners faced off in the five-day Battle of Blair Mountain against armed strikebreakers and government forces in one of the largest labor uprisings in American history.
(NYT, 3/2) — Kate Endicott, H.S. English teacher: “I live paycheck to paycheck….We come from an area that is known for standing up for what [we] believe in. The union wars, they originated in Mingo County.
“We believe we’re following in their footsteps. We believe the movement was started years ago through the mine wars. We’re just reviving the movement that was started years ago.”
South Africa: New millionaire ruler over Apartheid regime
NYT, 2/16 — …Furious street protests…have swept the nation [under] an economy that long funneled most of the spoils to a narrow, predominantly white slice of the populace….
Despite the formal eradication of apartheid, South Africa remains a land of stark economic inequalities that break along racial lines. Within the nation of 55 million people, just a tenth of the population, mostly white, controls more than 90 percent of the wealth….The vast majority of the rest owns nothing at all.
Roughly half the country lives in poverty. The official unemployment rate sits above 27 percent. And in the townships ringing cities, where the apartheid-era government forced black people to live,…two-thirds of young people are jobless. There, families hunker down in shacks lacking toilets and clean water….
…After a 2012 police massacre of striking platinum miners that killed 34 people….[current President Cyril] Ramaphosa occupied a seat on the board of Lonmin, the company that owned the mine….A day before the police opened fire, Mr. Ramaphosa had been urging senior government officials to take strong action to end the strike….
Beyond its systemic discrimination against black people, apartheid….ensured that huge numbers of black South Africans were available at poverty-level wages within…mining, agriculture and textiles….
…Ramaphosa…achieved extraordinary affluence by running South African companies with interests in mining, banking, real estate and telecommunications. His fortune has been estimated at $450 million.
Wage slavery rules Church hierarchy exploiting nuns
NYT, 3/2 — ROME — Sister Marie told of nuns who worked long hours to cook and clean for cardinals and bishops, without being asked to break bread at the same table.
Sister Paule pointed out that many nuns did not have registered contracts with the bishops, schools, parishes or congregations they worked for, “so they are paid little or not at all.”
Sister Cécile said that “nuns are seen as volunteers to have available at one’s calling, which gives rise to abuse of power.”
These stories…were revealed Thursday in an exposé about how nuns are exploited by the leaders and institutions of the Roman Catholic Church….
Though convents also depend on the money generated by the sisters living there, many nuns, unlike priests, are not paid, or are poorly paid, when they attend conferences or when they preach….
“Behind all this is still the unfortunate idea that women are worth less than men, and above all that the priest is everything while sisters are nothing in the church,” Sister Paule said.
Coal bosses profit; miner’s black lung disease on the rise
NYT, 2/23 — …Investigators…identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung cases ever officially recorded….A new black lung epidemic is emerging in central Appalachia….
Across the coal belt in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, “there’s an unacceptably large number of younger miners who have end-stage disease and the only choice is to get a lung transplant or wait it out and die,” [said David Blackley, an epidemiologist at OSHA].
Scientists have linked the new wave of lung disease to miners breathing in more silica dust....[which] can damage lungs faster than coal dust alone. Modern machinery, insufficient training…and longer work hours may also contribute to increased dust exposure….
A survey of clinics in 2016 has unofficially recorded nearly 2,000 cases over a similar period of time….
…Lowered dust exposure limits…[were] challenged by coal industry groups as costly….


REDEYE 2/21/18

Bush-Obama-Trump’s 17-year-war on Afghanistan continues
NYT, 1/30/18 — In coming months,…American troops in Afghanistan will grow to…15,000….4,000 will have been sent under President Trump’s war strategy….in a war that began with airstrikes and a few hundred Special Operations forces in 2001, and…later saw as many as 100,000 troops deployed….
American optimism goes all the way back to Nov. 17, 2001, when Laura Bush, then the first lady, said the Taliban “is now in retreat across much of the country….At the time, American troops had been in Afghanistan for a month. And just days into 2002…the first American soldier [was] killed….followed by…2,215 more….
Three months after[wards], Condoleeza Rice,…White House national security advisor, declared that “the Taliban regime has been routed….”
A year later…Donald Rumsfeld said the main war effort was ending….He called most of Afghanistan “secure….”
Still, days before he left office, President George Bush…on Dec. 16, 2008…[told] troops that “the Taliban is gone from power, and it’s not coming back.”
Except the Taliban had already returned. In July 2008, the group bombed the Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing 58. Nine American troops died the same month in an attack on a NATO base….But American commanders were still predicting victory….
President Obama authorized sending 17,000 more troops….And by December, Obama agreed to a surge of an additional 30,000 troops in Afghanistan….The Taliban kept up its onslaught….Military bases at Bagram and Kandahar were attacked in 2010 and a NATO convoy in Kabul was bombed, killing 18….
…An estimated 100,000 United States troops were in Afghanistan at the peak of war operations….In 2015….the Taliban soon overran Kunduz — the first…take over [of] a major city since 2001….By the end of 2016, General Nicholson, the current war commander….ordered the dropping of the “mother of all bombs” — the most powerful conventional bomb in the American arsenal — on eastern Afghanistan.
In November, General Nicholson delivered another bright update….”The Taliban cannot win….Their choices are to reconcile, live in irrelevance or die.”
The[y]…chose a different option. The Taliban launched a bloody 15-hour siege on a major hotel in Kabul last week, killing 22. On Saturday, at least 95 people died when an ambulance packed with explosives blew up on a busy street in the capital….The United States military alone dropped more than 4,000 bombs across Afghanistan in 2017.
U.S. poverty matches the world’s worst
NYT, 1/25 — …When we compare absolute poverty in the United States with absolute poverty in India and other poor countries, we should be using $4 in the United States and $1.90 in India….
There are 5.3 million Americans who are absolutely poor by global standards….more than in Nepal (2.5 million)….
It is precisely the cost and difficulty of housing that makes for so much misery for so many Americans, and it is precisely these costs that are missed in the…global counts….The essentials of health are more likely to be lacking for poorer Americans and there are places — the Mississippi Delta and much of Appalachia — where life expectancy is lower than in Bangladesh and Vietnam.
Many Americans, especially whites with no more than a high school education, have seen worsening health:…this group life expectancy is falling; mortality rates from drugs, alcohol and suicide are rising….
There are millions of Americans whose suffering, through material poverty and poor health, is bad or worse than that of poor people in Africa or Asia….It is time to stop thinking that only non-Americans are truly poor….especially when they are as destitute as the world’s poorest people.

Deadly fires still trapping exploited workers in ‘democratic’ India
NYT, 1/22 — A fire at an industrial building on the outskirts of New Delhi broke out as workers were stuffing gunpowder into firecrackers, trapping many of them on the factory’s upper floors as it spread, leaving at least 17 dead.
The laborers were paid only a few dollars a day to work in harsh conditions and at least 10…who died…were women….Frequent fires are a…reality in India’s urban areas…including ones manufacturing shoes and plastics catch fire with…regularity….
The building that went up in flames…in Bawana, an industrial area outside New Delhi, had no clear safety arrangements….Many factories have shifted to…industrial clusters like the one in Bawana…where they often employ low-wage workers from neighboring states….The presence of explosives in the building may have accelerated…[the fire’s] spread….
“We did not find any fire safety arrangements in the building,”…said [the chief fire officer].
Israel’s fascist rulers: assassinators-in-chief
NYT, 2/1/18 — Book review — “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations; by Ronen Bergman.
“Since World War II, Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western World….” Belligerent Ariel Sharon…as an army commander,…as minister of defense and as prime minister. Bergman describes Sharon as a “pyromaniac” and obsession with killing Yasir Arafat…verging on monomaniacal. In his hunt for Arafat, Sharon almost had the Mossad shoot down a plane of 30 wounded Palestinian children by mistake; he even countenanced…downing…a commercial airliner if Arafat were on it….”an intentional war crime….”
 Israel [is] getting more…ruthlessly efficient….]It is]now capable of planning four or five “interceptions” a day. “You get used to killing. Human life becomes something plain, easy to dispose of. You spend a quarter of an hour, 20 minutes, on who to kill”…[said] Ami Ayalon,…head of [domestic security] Shin Bet in the late ’90s.


REDEYE 12/20/17

75 years ago, Battle of Stalingrad was turning point of WW II
NYT, 11/16 — Hitler’s murderous advance into Russia during World War II…was halted at the Battle of Stalingrad — a critical turning point in the war.The fight raged for 200 days….Resistance to the German onslaught was fierce…following Stalin’s order: “Not one step back.”
….The city has been renamed Volgograd, an effort to erase Stalin’s legacy. But memories of the fighting, 75 years ago this year, are strong….The main memorial…a statue....visible from almost every vantage point in the city…is a powerful reminder of the price that Soviet people paid to defeat Nazism….
When the Germans sent in tanks, Mikhail Panikakha was fighting in a trench. He had just two Molotov cocktails left. He was raising one bottle to throw when a bullet smashed it, setting him on fire. He took the remaining bottle, jumped out of the trench and hit the nearest German tank, setting it on fire. The other tanks withdrew….
Vladimir Turov, 97, is a war veteran….On Sept. 12, 1942, his battalion was almost completely surrounded by Germans. But he refused to leave his wounded friend, fighting off the advancing forces with his machine gun….These days Stalin’s portraits are seen more frequently…and there is a museum dedicated to him as well….The Square of Heroes…contains a monument to a nurse carrying a wounded soldier from the battlefield. The Volga River was Hitler’s main target. Soviet soldiers fought to the death to keep possession of this strategic artery and important symbol.
U.S. probation system entraps thousands of Black people daily
NYT, 11/18 — Meek Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison for violating his probation….Meek was around 19…when he was convicted…and he served an eight-month sentence. Now he’s 30, so he has been on probation for basically his entire adult life….He’s been stalked by a system that considers his slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside….
[This] criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day….Probation ends up being a land mine, with a random misstep bringing consequences greater than the crime. A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew….He was arrested…in a St. Louis airport, but all charges were eventually dropped….but the judge sent him to prison anyway….
As of 2015, one-third of the 4.65 million Americans…on…probation were black. Black people are sent to prison for probation and parole violations at much higher rates than white people.
Fascists in Poland and racist Trump join forces
NYT, 11/5 — …When 60,000 far-right nationalists from Poland and all over Europe marched through Warsaw with red flares and racist signs like “White Europe of brotherly nations” and “Clean Blood.”
Poland’s Foreign Ministry…defen[ded]…the demonstration as an outpouring of patriotism….
…Words from an old Polish nationalist song that were the march’s slogan — “We want God” — were cited by President Trump to huge applause on his visit to Warsaw in July. Neo-fascist and white-supremacist groups have become more visible in Europe and the United States….Trump…[on] the white-supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Va…said their ranks included some “very fine people” — could have only heartened the racists.
Slave owner Madison helped U.S. Constitution guarantee slavery and the slave trade
NYT, 10/29 — James Madison….is the founding father who…[held] slaves on his plantation in Virginia and failed to free them upon his death., but he also originated the notorious three-fifths compromise in the Constitution which counted a slave as three-fifths of a person for purposes of legislative representation….
Madison understood…the economic reality on which his entire livelihood and that of the family plantation was based….At the Constitutional Convention in 1787….South Carolina and Georgia, backed by Connecticut, insisted on protecting the slave trade as a condition for agreeing to the Constitution. Madison went alone….Without the guarantee of slavery and the slave trade, there would have been no Constitution….The need to accommodate the realities of economics [and] politics…has continued to hold back equality in practice.
U.S. colonial racist devastate Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery
NYT, 10/10 — Of all Puerto Rico’s continuing miseries seven weeks after Hurricane Maria’s devastation, the most blatantly unjust is that islanders have been denied the…food relief distributed to storm victims…in Texas and Florida….
Both the island and mainland victims are United States citizens. But not all citizens are created equal: A 35-year-old congressional budget cap on Puerto Rico’s food stamp program has limited the amount of disaster immediately available. Texas and Florida have no such restraints….The disparity [is] painfully evidence of a colonial second-class status suffered by citizens of this American territory….
…Nearly 60 percent of the island’s power generation remains offline, its tourist and farming economies have been crippled….The lack of power may be killing the very sick and the very old in overheated hospitals and nursing homes….
…Recovery will fail without…tens of billions of dollars to restore housing, water and electric power, and to repair infrastructure….Trump is probably no more interested in this than he’s been in any of the island’s problems.


REDEYE 12/6/17

Capitalism maintains apartheid in South Africa
NYT, 10/24 — The end of apartheid was supposed to be a beginning….More than two decades later, Ms. [Judith] Sikade, 69, lives on the garbage-strewn dirt of Crossroads township, where thousands of black families have used splintered boards and metal sheets to construct airless hovels for lack of anywhere else to live.
“I’ve gone from shack to a shack,” Ms. Sikade says. “I’m fighting for everything I have. You are still living in apartheid….”
…For black South Africans, who account for three-fourths of this nations roughly 55 million people….Apartheid has persisted in economic form….An official unemployment rate [is] reaching 28 percent….In the aftermath of apartheid, the government left land and other assets largely in the hands of a predominantly white elite….
…Less than half of the working age population is officially employed….Large swaths of the black population remain hunkered down in squalor on land they do not legally own. Those with jobs often endure commutes of an hour or more on private minibuses that extract outsize slices of their paychecks.
“We never dismantled apartheid,” said Ayabonga Cawe, a former economist for Oxfam….”The patterns of enrichment and impoverishment are still the same….”
In…[Ms. Sikade’s] community, people are still cooking over coal fires and breathing in fumes. Children run barefoot on paths littered with broken glass….
“Where’s the freedom?” Ms. Sikade said, anger rising in her voice. “Where are the changes?”
….Ten percent of all South Africans — the majority white — own more than 90 percent of national wealth….Some 80 percent of the population — overwhelmingly black — owns nothing at all….
“The A.N.C.’s [African National Congress’s] primary objective was inclusion into the existing system,” said Moeletsi Mbeki, deputy chairman of the…Institute of International Affairs. “They wanted themselves to be part of the capitalist economy.”
U.S. bosses want ‘Dreamers’ to die for U.S. imperialism
NYT, 11/9 — …While deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan….more than 100 immigrant troops have made the supreme sacrifice in combat….From 2006 to 2011…45,700 immigrants…[were in] the American military….
The United States faces…growing pressures on “our” armed forces. Those forces are stronger when they embody…a large pool of…young people able to adapt to changing threats….We need legislation that will provide a pathway to citizenship for those immigrants who…are serving or have served in the military….That kind of policy will help the military recruit new service members and improve readiness….
…The importance of recruiting immigrants into… [the] military has only increased…because fewer and fewer young Americans are eligible to serve….
More than 800 so-called Dreamers…are now serving in the armed forces….
…More than 109,000 immigrants…since Sept. 11, 2001, have become citizens while wearing the uniforms of the United States military…. [which] will be the better for it.
Nazi-Developed Chemical now in food, air, water
NYT, 10/29 — …A common pesticide…[in] a class of chemicals developed as a nerve gas by Nazi Germany, is now found in food, air and drinking water….It damages the brain and reduces I.Q.s while causing tremors among children….[and is]also linked to lung cancer and Parkinson’s disease….
This chemical, chlorpyrifos,…Dow Chemical Company’s Nerve Gas.…may be inside you: One 2012 study found…it…in the umbilical cord blood of 87 percent of newborn babies tested.
…The Trump administration is embracing it, overturning a planned ban…in the works for many years….
Dow’s Nerve Gas Pesticide will still be used on…crops that end up on our plate….Fruit and vegetable…levels of this pesticide [are found]…up to 140 times the limits seemed safe….a nationwide echo of what was permitted in Flint [Mich.]….
…The $800 billion chemical industry lavishes money on politicians and lobbies its way out of effective legislation….The chemical industry lobby…is today’s version of Big Tobacco….[It] called for requiring flame retardant chemicals in couches, to ‘save lives,’….an industry hoax…to increase sales of flame retardants — whose principal effect seems to be to cause cancer….
…Toxic chemicals are lowering men’s sperm counts….By 2060, a majority of American and European men could even be infertile….Trump’s most enduring legacy may be cancer, infertility and diminished I.Q.s for decades to come.
China’s capitalism: 500 million earn less than $5.50 a day
NYT, 11/1 — Even as Chinese cities have turned into playgrounds for the nouveau rich…nearly 500 million people,…40 percent of Chin’s population, live on less than $5.50 per day, according to the World Bank.
…Kerry Brown, a China scholar at King’s College London [said]….“The Communist Party has created billionaires…and yet there are still a lot of poor people. That seems to be a massive contradiction….”
Under [President] Xi Jinping, who has played up an image as an Everyman….[his] plan is more about making headlines than bringing lasting change to poor communities….
…There are more than 200 million rural migrants in Chinese cities, where many struggle to receive education, health care and other benefits because the local government does not consider them residents. Some fall into unemployment or bad health and live in squalid conditions.