Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fall River, Massachusetts' `Not Seasonally Adjusted' Jobless Rate: Still 10.1 Percent In March 2015

In March 2015, the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Fall River, Massachusetts was still 10.1 percent; while Massachusetts’ “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate was still 5.5 percent during that same month, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in 7 other major Massachusetts cities and in the town of North Adams was still higher than the “not seasonally adjusted” national U.S. unemployment rate of 5.6 percent in March 2015:

1. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Lawrence, Massachusetts was still 9.6 percent in March 2015;

2. The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in New Bedford, Massachusetts was still 9.6 percent in March 2015;

3. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Springfield, Massachusetts was still 9 percent in March 2015;

4. The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in North Adams, Massachusetts was still 7.8 percent in March 2015;

5. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Brockton, Massachusetts was still 6.6 percent in March 2015;

6. The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Lowell, Massachusetts was still 6.3 percent in March 2015;

7. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Pittsfield, Massachusetts was still 6.2 percent in March 2015;

8. The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Worcester, Massachusetts was still 5.7 percent in March 2015;

In addition, the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Lynn, Massachusetts was still 5.4 percent in March 2015; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Boston, Massachusetts was still 4.2 percent during that same month.

According to the Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s April 16, 2015 press release:

“….Information had no change….in its jobs level over the month….Construction lost 2,100…jobs over the month….Financial Activities lost 500….jobs over the month….Government lost 200….jobs over the month…”

In March 2015, the “not seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed workers in Massachusetts was still 181,100; and around 49,000 of these officially unemployed workers lived in Boston, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester or North Adams, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited: Conclusion

New York Times Owner Slim’s U.S. Real Estate Investments

In New York City and other U.S. cities, Slim has also apparently been purchasing more real estate property since he purchased stock in Citigroup and the New York Times Company in 2008. As Adam Piore noted in an Oct. 1, 2010 article in The Real Deal article:

“…New Yorkers know him as…the man who…dropped $44 million on the Duke Semans Mansion on the Upper East Side, but Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has plenty of other real estate holdings outside of New York...While Slim has beefed up his New York real estate portfolio lately, he’s also made moves like gaining control of a prime half-billion-dollar property in Beverly Hills…His New York purchases were made through Inmobiliaria Carso, a closely held entity for Slim’s family that is not required to release as much information… Slim ponied up $140 million in June to buy 417 Fifth Avenue from a joint venture of the Moinian Group and Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Street Real Estate Fund…."

So don’t expect The New York Times to start publishing many new expose’s of the New York City real estate industry if Mexican Billionaire Oligarch and Philip Morris International board member Carlos Slim increases his share of New York Times Company stock to 19 percent in 2015.

(end of article)

Monday, April 20, 2015

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited: Part 15

New York Times Owner Slim’s Foreign Investments

Whatever happens within Mexico with regard to anti-monopoly legislation or human rights violations, New York Times Owner Slim and his family’s ability to accumulate billions of dollars each decade may still not be affected that much as long as the capitalist economic system exists around the globe, because an increasing percentage of his 21st-century profits have been coming from his investments in countries other than Mexico in recent years. As an article in the July 20, 2014 issue of Bloomberg Business Week observed:

Slim said this week that his America Movil…is bowing to antitrust legislation by selling assets in Mexico to reduce its dominant market share…While America Movil will be reducing dependence on its home market, the world’s second-richest man has been diversified beyond Mexico and telecommunications for years with holdings in banking, mining and construction…America Movil has also expanded, with operations in 17 other countries, from the U.S. to Chile. It also holds stakes in two European phone carriers, Royal KPN NV and Telekom Austria AG…With about 60 percent of America Movil’s sales coming from outside of Mexico today…Slim’s fortune is less dependent on his home country than it used to be…”

In addition, “through America Movil,” New York Times Owner Slim also “committed $60 million” to an Israeli startup, “Mobli as a model of the type of potential investments in Israeli firms,” according to Forbes magazine (12/21/13).

(end of part 15)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited: Part 14

Mexico’’s Human Rights Situation and Mexico’s Oligarchs

Despite the passage in 2013 of an anti-monopoly reform bill that would reduce Slim’s share of the Mexican telecommunications consumer market to below 50 percent, the human rights situation in a Mexico whose economy remains dominated by billionaire oligarchs like New York Times Owner Slim still needed improvement. As a 2014 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, for example, observed:

“Upon taking office in December 2012, [Mexican] President Enrique Peña Nieto acknowledged that the``war on drugs’ launched by predecessor Felipe Calderón had led to serious abuses by the security forces. In early 2013, the administration said that more than 26,000 people had been reported disappeared or missing since 2007…Yet the government has made little progress in prosecuting widespread killings, enforced disappearances, and torture committed by soldiers and police in the course of efforts to combat organized crime, including during Peña Nieto’s tenure….Members of all security force branches continue to carry out disappearances during the Peña Nieto administration, in some cases collaborating directly with criminal groups. In June 2013, Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) said it was investigating 2,443 disappearances in which it had found evidence of the involvement of state agents…From December 2006 to mid-September 2013, the CNDH received 8,150 complaints of abuse by the army, and issued reports on 116 cases in which it found that army personnel had committed serious human rights violations.

“The soldiers who commit these abuses are virtually never brought to justice, largely because such cases continue to be investigated and prosecuted in the military justice system, which lacks independence and transparency…Torture is widely practiced in Mexico to obtain forced confessions and extract information. It is most frequently applied in the period between when victims are arbitrarily detained and when they are handed to prosecutors, when they are often held incommunicado at military bases or other illegal detention sites. Common tactics include beatings, waterboarding, electric shocks, and sexual torture. Many judges continue to accept confessions obtained through torture, despite the constitutional prohibition of such evidence.

“…Between January and September 2013, the National Human Rights Commission received more than 860 complaints of torture or cruel or inhuman treatment by federal officials…Prisons are overpopulated, unhygienic, and fail to provide basic security for most inmates. Prisoners who accuse guards or inmates of attacks or other abuses have no effective system to seek redress.

“Approximately 65 percent of prisons are controlled by organized crime, and corruption and violence are rampant, according to the CNDH. Some 108 inmates had died in 2013, as of November….At least 85 journalists were killed between 2000 and August 2013, and 20 more were disappeared between 2005 and April 2013, according to the CNDH…Independent unions are often blocked from entering negotiations with management, while workers who seek to form independent unions risk losing their jobs...Human rights defenders and activists continue to suffer harassment and attacks…In many cases, there is evidence—including witness testimony or traced cell phones—that state agents are involved in aggressions against human rights defenders…The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions conducted a fact-finding mission to Mexico in April-May 2013, and stated that extrajudicial executions by security forces were widespread and often occurred without accountability…”

So, not surprisingly, as recently as Nov. 8, 2014 Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director of Amnesty International--in response to the Nov. 8, 2014 statement by Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam about the 43 Mexican students who disappeared in September 2014—noted that “tragically, the enforced disappearance of these student teachers is just the latest in a long line of horrors to have befallen Guerrero state, and the rest of the country;” and “the warning signs of corruption and violence have been there for all to see for years, and those that negligently ignored them are themselves complicit in this tragedy.”

(end of part 14)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited: Part 13

New York Times Owner Slim’s TracFone Connection

The May 10, 2013 Forbes magazine article also observed that New York Times Owner Slim’s TracFone Wireless Inc. mobile phone service firm—the fifth largest in the United States in 2009--was “the largest recipient under the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s Lifeline program, taking in $451.7 million, or 28%, of payments in 2011, the last year for which records are available” and “has four million TracFone customers participating in the government phone assistance Lifeline program.”

An Oct. 7, 2013 Two Countries One Voice press release also noted that “on July 11, 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission fined New York Times Owner Slim’s TracFone $24 million and settled a battle that has drawn out in both the courts and before the California Public Utilities Commission surrounding the pay-as-you-go mobile provider’s failure to pay fees and surcharges that fund programs for the deaf and poor.” The same press release also observed that “in May 2013, Mexico’s Congress: finally “overwhelmingly passed a far reaching telecommunications reform bill designed to improve competition in Mexico’s phone industry, which is controlled by Carlos Slim,” but that the Two Countries One Voice activist group “will continue to be the voices for the voiceless, giving prominence to the plight of the poor, who are impacted by Slim’s practices.”.

(end of part 13)

Friday, April 17, 2015

The `New York Times''' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited: Part 12

U.S. Protests Against New York Times Owner Carlos Slim's Exploitation Of Workers And Consumers

It’s not likely that much news about protests in the United States or Mexico against the exploitation of workers and consumers around the globe by New York Times Owner Carlos Slim will be mentioned much on either Ora.TV shows or on the front page of the New York Times. But in an Aug. 7, 2012 Daily Intelligencer article in New York magazine, Joe Coscarelli noted how some Occupy Wall Street activists were planning to protest outside the Saks Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan, that was then owned by New York Times Owner Slim

”…What's left of Occupy Wall Street plans to join forces with Yo Soy 132, the similarly amorphous Mexican student group…for a demonstration against Slim's `monopolistic practices’ at his telecommunications companies. `Carlos Slim is the 1 percent of the 1 percent,’ said one Occupy organizer…`Slim is the world's richest man, the largest stakeholder in Saks Fifth Avenue, and has been accused of overcharging impoverished Mexicans by over $129 billion as owner of Mexico's largest phone company,’ the group stresses. `What better way to protest predatory greed by taking over his Fifth Avenue store?’…

And in its May 10, 2013 issue, Forbes  magazine described another protest against New York Times Owner Slim’s exploitation of workers and consumers that was held in the New York Public Library:

“Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim was in the middle of promoting his partnership with Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, during a public event at the New York Public Library on Thursday night, when a group of sixty activists started snickering audibly, escalating to loud guffaws.  The activists, members of Two Countries One Voice, a Latino advocacy group created in 2012 to organize public demonstrations against the world’s richest man,  said that the “laugh-in” was to denounce Slim’s `monopolistic and predatory practices.’…It was interrupted for several minutes by the loud laughing of the protesters and resumed later on when the protesters left the room spreading small Monopoly paper money with Slim’s face printed on it.  `The point of the laugh-in is to expose Slim,’ said Juan Jose Gutierrez, founder of Two Countries One Voice.  `Given Slim’s track record, his interest in suddenly providing educational services to Mexicans is laughable.’…

(end of part 12)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited: Part 11

New York Times Owner Slim’s Ora TV-Larry King Connection

As The New Yorker magazine noted in its 2009 article, “under the original terms of the Telmex privatization, the company was prohibited from offering television service” in Mexico. Yet a few years after Carlos Slim became the second-largest holder of stock in the New York Times Company, his America Movil telecommunications firm began funding the Ora.TV digital television network that began airing a Larry King tv show. As a Mar. 12, 2012 press release on the Ora TV website noted:

“Global media industry leaders today announced the creation of Ora.TV, a new digital television venture funded by América Móvil, the leading Latin American wireless service provider that is controlled by Carlos Slim Helú. The announcement marks the return to television of broadcast news legend Larry King, who joins Mr. Slim Helú as a co-founder of the network. Ora.TV will be led by Jon Housman, who until recently was the President of Digital Journalism for News Corporation.

“Ora.TV will create high-quality video programming for digital distribution…The company will produce shows that resemble traditional TV..In addition, Ora is in discussions with other on-air personalities to join King…Carlos Slim Helú is considered one of the world's foremost business leaders with interests in finance, media, telecommunications and other fields. He owns stakes in many companies, including The New York Times, Saks, and is the main investor in Telefonos de Mexico, América Móvil and Grupo Financiero Inbursa. `Ora.TV represents a great opportunity,’ Carlos Slim Helú said….Larry King is joining the network….

"`I am thrilled to be working with Carlos…’ King commented. `The backing of Carlos…is a recipe for success’…”

(end of part 11)