Rengo labor union pares back support of Democratic Party


Japan’s largest labor organization, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation or Rengo, said Thursday it has decided to downgrade the level of support it officially offers to the newly formed opposition Democratic Party.

The decision-making central executive committee approved a proposal to change the wording in Rengo’s statement on the main opposition party from pledging “strengthened cooperation and support” to just “cooperation.”

The more generous wording referred to the Democratic Party of Japan, which merged with the smaller—and broadly more conservative—Japan Innovation Party last month to form the new party. Rengo was the largest organization to lend its support to the DPJ.

The change indicates Rengo members wish to wait and see how much influence former JIP members will have on Democratic Party policy. Rengo represents about 6.82 million members of unions throughout Japan.

“Our stance of checking our respective policies against each other and working together hasn’t changed,” Rengo President Rikio Kozu told a press conference following Thursday’s meeting.

But before offering its support to the party for the House of Councillors election this summer, the union body will “carefully gauge how each individual politician has acted and spoken,” Kozu added.

The Democratic Party is fielding 12 Rengo members among its candidates for proportional representation districts in the election.

The party’s acting president Renho stressed its independence from the union body Thursday.

“There’s no way that a party supported by Rengo can interfere in its doctrine, and likewise Rengo won’t get a say when we decide on our manifesto,” she said.

According to the new statement, “(Rengo) will assess on a point-by-point basis whether the political ideals and policies espoused by the DPJ, particularly on social welfare and tax reform, are being carried on.”

But the statement also says Rengo is willing to sign a policy accord with the Democratic Party in the run-up to the upper house election if it determines the party’s policy mix is in line with its own principles and policies.

The older version of Rengo’s policy statement said the organization will “strengthen cooperation with and support of the DPJ, which shares most of our policies, and aim to see those policies realized.”

The union body had pledged its “full support” to the DPJ in a policy accord for the 2014 lower house election.


Syrian refugees flock to food banks to make ends meet

Food banks in Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto and Edmonton are being flooded with Syrian refugees because the financial assistance they receive isn’t enough to cover their monthly expenses.

Gwen Bouchard, the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard coordinator estimates that approximately 400 government-sponsored Syrian families have used the small East Ottawa food bank, a 30% increase over the usual numbers. “I’m pretty sure the government did not realize the effect that all of these refugees would have on many of the local community agencies that help people in need,” Bouchard told CTV News.

A small Ottawa food bank put out a call for Arabic-speaking volunteers and several food banks across the country are appealing for religious and culturally-appropriate items such as halal meat and chickpeas.

In Edmonton, where 208 Syrian refugees have used the food bank since January – an increase of 33% from the previous year – the agencies are urging the federal government to increase financial support for refugees. “There’s hardly any assistance from the federal government, who at the end of the day is responsible for bringing the Syrian refugees to Edmonton,” said Fahad Shaikh of the Islamic Family Social Services Association.

Edmonton Food Bank Executive director Marjorie Bencz doesn’t think “the feds did a lot of planning or gave much thought about who was going to provide services to the Syrian refugees.” And a Toronto food bank has seen a “tremendous” number of refugees, according to Oriole Food Space manager Daffodil Davis.

In Nova Scotia, 50 Syrian families have used a food bank in Halifax since January. A Syrian refugee in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, told CBC News that his family of eight is struggling to make ends meet on a $1,350 a month allowance because the cost of living in Canada is much more expensive than he originally anticipated. “We were expecting something better than this,” Waleed Alghdyan said through an interpreter. “Expectations didn’t meet reality.”

26,262 Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada since December 10, 2015. The cost of the Syrian refugee plan is estimated to cost the Canadian taxpayers $1.2 billion over the next 6 years.

As Led Zeppelin face trial for copyright infringement, here are nine other artists sued for ‘stealing’ hits


To music fans, Stairway to Heaven is perhaps Led Zeppelin ’s most iconic track.

But now the epic rock classic has landed its writers in court as it’s claimed it was copied from another band’s songs.

Led Zeppelin’s singer Robert Plant, and guitarist Jimmy Page face a trial in LA next month after a judge ruled that a jury must decide whether Stairway copies track Taurus, written by Californian psychedelic band Spirit, who toured with them in the 1960s.

The legendary track has earned an estimated £400million in royalties and sales since its release in 1971, and Judge Gary Klausner’s ruling this week follows years of arguing on guitar forums and fan sites.

Taurus composer Randy Wolfe drowned in 1997 while rescuing his 12-year-old son from a riptide. But years earlier he said Led Zeppelin used to come and sit at the front of Spirit’s shows, adding: “I’ll let (Led Zeppelin) have the beginning of Taurus for their song without a lawsuit.”

The current case has now been brought by one of his estate’s trustees Michael Skidmore. Led Zeppelin deny listening to Spirit’s music and argue that Stairway and Taurus use notes that have been in music for centuries – and now it will be for a jury to decide the outcome.

But this isn’t the first time a big-name band has been accused of taking more than a hint of inspiration from another and ended up in court.


Toronto taxicab drivers exempted from requirement for command of the English language

Toronto City Council approved on March 31, 2016 a series of recommendations that, taken together, “form a new framework for equitable regulation within the vehicle-for-hire industry” and practically designed to set new rules in the competition between the taxi drivers and Uber ride-sharing service.

This report proposes a new Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw that:

  • regulates taxicabs, limousines, and companies such as Uber in an equitable
  • manner;
  • reduces regulatory burden, while maintaining requirements for public safety and consumer protection;
  • builds on existing plans to secure accessible vehicle-for-hire services; and
  • provides opportunities for competition and innovation.

The report contains the following decisions regarding taxicab training:

  • “29. City Council delete the requirement that owners and drivers of non-accessible taxicabs complete initial and refresher training programs to obtain a licence, effective immediately.
  • “30. City Council delete the requirement that taxicab drivers and owners complete CPR training and First Aid certification as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.
  • “31. City Council delete the requirement for command of the English language as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.”

Mangina Stephen Marche at the anti-male Guardian “How shitty are men really”?

The man hating, pedophile supporting, female and lesbian rapists supporting guardian publish their latest man bashing article after the degenerate man hating feminazi cunt writers bitch about abusive comments which are results of their man hating man bashing articles which are pissing off thier readers.  the guardian is losing money and is laying off staff after losing readers in the last 10 years but won’t stop the man bashing articles