Via Rail Temporarily Laying Off 1,000 Workers Amid Blockades

TORONTO — Via Rail says it is temporarily laying off 1,000 employees due to blockades that continue to halt service on CN tracks in Eastern Canada. The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto routes for about two weeks due to the protests that have disrupted rail service across the country. Via says it commends the ongoing dialogue efforts between the government and demonstrators at the rail blockades in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia. Via says it’s proceeding with the temporary suspensions of the unionized employees “with sincere regret.” The company, which is set to resume service… Read More

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The 1 economic experiment Shinzo Abe won’t try

Japan’s economy has been in the doldrums for roughly three decades now — not quite in recession, but growing very slowly. In 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived on the scene, promising to revive Japan’s economy with a new mix of policies, colloquially called “Abenomics.” Seven years on, and Abenomics looks like a bust: The slow overall pace has continued, and Japan’s economy actually shrank by 6.3 percent in year-over-year terms in 2019’s fourth quarter. Early indications are that the economy may well shrink again in 2020’s first quarter, which means the country will be in an official recession — negative growth over two quarters. There’s a lot going on… Read More

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Why are calendar apps so awful?

Is there anything more symbolic of the absurdity of modern life than how hard it is to make plans with friends? First, you must decide how to get in touch. Email? It’s fine, but then you have to deal with 20 replies. Apps like WhatsApp or Signal rarely work because not everyone is on them. And relying only on Facebook guarantees you miss those friends who no longer — or never did — have an account. In short, it’s a mess before you even get started. Then there is the almost comical back and forth of trying to find a time and day that works for everyone in our busy,… Read More

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The stubborn myths of rent and gentrification

My neighborhood has many murals, the latest of which is painted on the side of a BBQ joint rumored to be slated for demolition and replacement, probably by a four-story, mixed-use building with retail on the bottom and apartments on top. You know the type. Most of the mural is text, and it reads: “Development without displacement.” Given the mood, politics, and history of the area — half a century ago, the flourishing black neighborhood a couple blocks south was gashed down the middle by federal highway construction — I’m certain the mural should be read as a demand and that its location is an act of defiance. New construction… Read More

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Sanders campaign manager says Fox News is ‘more fair’ to Bernie than MSNBC

The Bernie Sanders campaign and the Vermont senator’s supporters are fed up with MSNBC, after what they perceive as months of “slights from MSNBC’s stable of hosts and commentators,” Tom Kludt writes at Vanity Fair. Sanders and his campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, requested a meeting with MSNBC president Phil Griffin last fall to see if the liberal cable news network would “change the tone and the tenor of the coverage that we receive,” Shakir told Vanity Fair. “They’ve been among the last to acknowledge that Bernie Sanders’ path to the nomination is real, and even when it’s become real, they frequently discount it.” Things haven’t improved since then, as far… Read More

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Obama poked Trump on the economy. Trump took the bait.

Former President Barack Obama celebrated Presidents Day — or “President’s Day,” as President Trump tweeted Monday — by subtweeting his successor on the economy. Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history. pic.twitter.com/BmdXrxUAUf — Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 17, 2020 Trump has been touting the economy in his pitch for re-election, often employing exaggeration, and he got Obama’s message. Right on cue. pic.twitter.com/t3zke2uzYB — Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 17, 2020 That could have been the end of it,… Read More

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