25 May 2016   Leave a comment

France is experiencing widespread labor protests which threaten to bring the economy to a standstill.  The Hollande government has proposed massive revisions to the labor laws in France and workers are upset by the changes.  The most crucial stoppages right now are in the transportation sector where strikes at oil refineries threaten to cut off the supply of petroleum-based fuels.  Now the workers at the nuclear power plants, from which France receives 75% of its electricity, are threatening to shut down the reactors.

French Protests

Shareholders at the ExxonMobil annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, pushed for stronger action by the company to address the problem of climate change.  Management was not sympathetic to the proposals, and projected that oil and natural gas would provide about 60% of the world’s energy needs by 2040.  Nonetheless, the dissident shareholders scored some impressive support. According to The Guardian:

More than 38% of Exxon’s investors rebelled against the company by voting for a proposal that would have required the company to publish an annual study of how its profits may be affected by public climate change policies, following the Paris climate agreement, to limit the global temperature rise to less than 2C (3.6F).

Similar pressures were applied at the annual meeting of Chevron, a competing energy company.   It appears as if change is possible.

The Iraqi army is mobilizing to retake the city of Fallujah from the control of Daesh (the Islamic State).  The city is only 30 minutes from Baghdad and is crucial to the security of the central Iraqi government.  But the Iraqi army is also relying on Shia militias to retake the city from Sunni control and thus the offensive raises the prospect of increased sectarian violence.  The way the battle is controlled is just as important as the outcome of the battle.

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Posted May 26, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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