New Shipping Canal in Nicaragua Faces Questions and Opposition by Jens Gluesing for Der Spiegel.
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Nicaragua is proceeding with plans for a new canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which will be bigger than the Panama Canal.
The Nicaraguan Canal will be paid for and built by China, which will get a 50-year concession to operate the canal and an option for an additional 50 years. It would give China a great foothold for expanding its economic influence in the Western Hemisphere.
The canal is scheduled for completion in just five years, although construction hasn’t started as yet. Unlike the Panama Canal, it will be big enough to handle container ships.
Some Nicaraguans are opposed, because of the impact on Lake Nicaragua, source of most of the country’s drinking water, and because 30,000 Nicaraguans will be displaced from their homes to make way for the canal. Others question whether the canal will be financially viable, since the Panama Canal is being expanded and other central American countries are building “dry canals”—railroads to transfer cargoes from one ocean to the other.
The New Loan Sharks by Susanne Soederberg for Jacobin magazine.
Stagnation of American wages and economic uncertainty have made payday loans a big business, because so many Americans are barely getting by and have no savings cushion for unexpected emergencies.
Payday loans are not a marginal part of the U.S. economy. They are a big business financed by economic giants such as Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, and by Advance America, which is owned by Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pilego.
The Red Cross’ Secret Disaster by Justin Elliott and Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica and Laura Sullivan of NPR.
The Red Cross is another charitable organization which has succumbed to the corporate model, which puts fund-raising and public relations ahead of doing its job.