18 Aug

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.


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Funeral of soul singer will be held on 31 August in her home town, publicist says

A memorial in memory of singer Aretha Franklin outside New Bethel Baptist church in Detroit.

A memorial in memory of singer Aretha Franklin outside New Bethel Baptist church in Detroit. Photograph: Rebecca Cook/Reuters

The funeral of soul singer Aretha Franklin will be held on 31 August in her home town of Detroit, her publicist has said.

The late singer’s representative, Gwendolyn Quinn, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the funeral at the city’s Greater Grace Temple will be limited to her family and friends.

The Queen of Soul was a famously private person, but the interviews she gave throughout her career reveal her journey with music. Franklin reluctantly began singing in her father’s church choir as a child, but soon realised it was her passion, leading to a remarkable life in music

Franklin will be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery along with her father, the preacher Rev CL Franklin, her sisters, Carolyn and Erma, her brother, Cecil, and nephew, Thomas.

The singer, 76, who was known as the Queen of Soul, died of pancreatic cancer.

During a career that spanned seven decades, she became known for songs such as Respect, I Say A Little Prayer and Chain Of Fools.

Former US president Barack Obama, his wife, Michelle, and singers Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney were among those to pay tribute to Franklin.

In a joint statement, the Obamas said: “Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience.

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“In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade – our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect.”

Franklin performed at Obama’s inauguration ceremony in 2009.

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Watch Aretha Franklin, the ‘queen of soul’, who has died at the age of 76, perform her hit single (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman through six decades. Franklin sold more than 75m records in her lifetime and won 18 Grammy awards. After signing with Atlantic in 1966 she had an extraordinary run of singles including her cover of Otis Redding’s Respect, I Say a Little Prayer and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

World Politics

United States

A man holds an US flag prior to taking the citizenship oath.

A man holds an US flag prior to taking the citizenship oath. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Sudi Wardere was expecting her first child when she petitioned for a family-based immigrant visa that would allow her husband to join her in the United States.

That was two years ago. As an American citizen and resident of Washington state, Wardere did not think that she would find herself still waiting, left alone to raise her 14-month-old son.

Her husband, a Somali national, remains in limbo – one of the many immigrants whose path to the US became far more arduous after the supreme court ruled to uphold Donald Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.

Wardere arrived in the US when she was 10 and was raised just outside Seattle. Her story is also about the ways in which the Trump administration has sought to block legal immigrants from crossing America’s borders.

“I feel like a second-class citizen,” Wardere said. “I’m stuck over here with our son, who hasn’t even seen his father.”

Wardere is one of 36 plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit on behalf of individuals who claim visa applications were wrongfully denied or stalled by the US government’s failure to grant case-by-case waivers from the travel ban.

The amended complaint, filed last month by groups including Muslim Advocates and the Immigrant Advocacy & Litigation Center, was the first challenge to the travel ban since the supreme court affirmed the legality of Trump’s action on 26 June.

Immigration advocates say a pattern has emerged in which the Trump administration has attempted to cut back legal immigration by gutting existing programs and making citizenship much less obtainable.

The overall picture is one of extreme hostility with no distinction between the undocumented and those legally here

Joshua Hoyt, National Partnership for New Americans

“The overall picture is one of extreme hostility with no distinction between the undocumented and those who are legally here,” said Joshua Hoyt, co-chair of the National Partnership for New Americans.

The past year and a half has seen a series of proposals – some threatened, others already realized – that make good on Trump’s pledge to sharply restrict immigration.

Under the stewardship of attorney general Jeff Sessions and White House adviser Stephen Miller, who have both long opposed the system that cemented America’s legacy as a nation of immigrants, other steps have targeted those already here.

Last week, immigration advocates sounded the alarm over a pending proposal that would make it harder for legal immigrants to obtain green cards or citizenship if they have ever used government programs such as the Affordable Care Act, food stamps and children’s health insurance. According to a report by NBC News, the Trump administration was expected to issue the new rule in the coming weeks, affecting around 20 million immigrants.

Elsewhere, spouses of those on high-skilled immigrant visas were still awaiting their fate as the administration prepared to revoke authorization to work in the US. The proposed rules change, which is expected any day, would affect tens of thousands of immigrant spouses, most women.

Trump has directed much of his rhetoric in recent months to so-called “chain migration”, the process by which US citizens or legal residents can sponsor family members to come to the country. Several immigration proposals pushed by the White House have called for an end to the practice, which the president has called a national security threat.

In fact, numerous studies have demonstrated that immigrants in the US are less likely to commit crimes than the native-born population.

The Trump White House has also been accused of hypocrisy for taking advantage of the very same immigration processes it is seeking to abolish. Miller, the architect of Trump’s most aggressive anti-immigration moves, was condemned by his maternal uncle in a scathing op-ed published on Monday.

Pointing out that Miller has benefited from family-based immigration, David S Glosser, wrote: “I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, who is an educated man and well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”………….Despite a national outcry over the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border, a majority of Republican voters said they backed the move. Surveys have similarly shown broad support among Republicans for the travel ban and efforts to crack down on immigration – legal or illegal.

The shift has prompted Republican leaders in Congress to try to enact Trump’s immigration priorities even when they have disapproved of his approach.

A Republican proposal to end family separations at the border in June included funding for Trump’s wall along the US-Mexico border, new restrictions on family-based legal immigration and an end to the visa lottery program. Lacking sufficient support, the measure never made it to the floor of the House.

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Astronomical gap between the pay of workers and bosses exposed in report on earnings of America’s top 350 CEOs

McDonald’s boss Steve Easterbrook earned $21.7m last year. The median worker wage at the fast-food giant was $7,017.

McDonald’s boss Steve Easterbrook earned $21.7m last year. The median worker wage at the fast-food giant was $7,017. Photograph: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

The chief executives of America’s top 350 companies earned 312 times more than their workers on average last year, according to a new report published Thursday by the Economic Policy Institute.

The rise came after the bosses of America’s largest companies got an average pay rise of 17.6% in 2017, taking home an average of $18.9m in compensation while their employees’ wages stalled, rising just 0.3% over the year.

The pay gap has risen dramatically, with some fluctuations, since the 1990s. In 1965 the ratio of CEO to worker pay was 20 to one; that figure had risen to 58 to one by in 1989 and peaked in 2000 when CEOs earned 344 times the wage of their average worker.

CEO pay dipped in the early 2000s and during the last recession, but has been rising rapidly since 2009. Chief executives are even leaving the 0.1% in the dust. The bosses of large firms now earn 5.5 times as much as the average earner in the top 0.1%.

The astronomical gap between the remuneration of workers and bosses has been brought into sharper focus by a new financial disclosure rule that forces companies to publish the ratio of CEO to worker pay.

Last year, McDonald’s boss Steve Easterbrook earned $21.7m while the McDonald’s workers earned a median wage of just $7,017 – a CEO to worker pay ratio of 3,101 to one. The average Walmart worker earned $19,177 in 2017 while CEO Doug McMillon took home $22.8m – a ratio of 1,188 to one.

But the average is skewed by outliers, particularly the tech companies, where the CEO founders may own large chunks of the company but not take home much in compensation, relatively speaking.

Amazon’s boss, Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, was paid close to $82,000 last year and his total compensation including security was about $1.7m in 2017 while the average Amazon worker earned $28,446 – a ratio of 59 to one for his entire package and just three to one counting salary only.

But neither man is waiting on his monthly paycheck. Bezos’s personal fortune now tops $154bn while Zuckerberg’s is close to$66bn, according to Forbes.

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Nutria: the rodent wreaking havoc on California’s landscape – video

, and , Source: Getty/As credited

The rapid influx of these beaver-like rodents has decimated parts of the Californian wetlands. They were introduced to the US for the fur trade and now share wetland areas with some of the west coast’s most endangered species. The California department of fish and wildlife has compared the threat of their presence to that of wildfires

California v nutria: state seeks to eradicate scourge of giant rodents

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