There is a group being brought to bear consisting of prominent American Jews, a group of retired, left-wing Israeli military and security officials and an American security think tank seeking to force policies on Israel of their own divinations using the next President of the United States and the auspices of his office to amplify their murmurings into a cacophony of important cackling. These leftist know-it-alls do actually understand one thing very clearly, namely that their ideas would not fly in Israel even if the most leftist of coalitions were to win the next elections. They are completely aware that the political winds in Israel have changed and their kind of leftist has all but ceased to exist. Still, these know-it-alls know that their ideas are the only policies which contain even the slightest slivers of sanity and peace can only be attained if they are placed in charge. They…
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On the debone line, the birds come at you fast. That was Lisandro Vega’s first lesson. The former prison guard in Puerto Rico had moved to the town of Huntsville, Arkansas, in 2013, following relatives who found work at a Butterball turkey plant. There, he was given a knife and gloves and told to stand at a station, where 47 dead and defeathered turkeys rushed past each minute. He was responsible for every second bird. Sometimes he cut out the hip joints; other times the breasts and livers. The pace was relentless: 1,410 birds an hour, more than 11,000 a shift.
And sometimes they come at you faster. Beginning in October, Butterball requires plant employees to work approximately 50 days straight to meet the Thanksgiving rush. In Huntsville, people call this period “fresh”—in Spanish, la fresca—because that’s when birds are sold fresh, not frozen. During this time, the line speed increases; Vega recalls it reaching, according to his supervisor, 51 birds a minute. (Butterball declined to comment on its line speed.) A debone worker like Vega can slice up more than half a million turkeys before receiving a single day off.
“In training, they tell you that if you can’t get to the turkey, just let it go by, because you can injure yourself with the knife,” he says. “But once you are in debone, if you miss a turkey, you’re going to immediately hear: ‘What happened? You can’t let them go by!’ ”
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George Osborne’s successor at the Treasury pledged to enact a “new plan for the new circumstances Britain faces”, and it doesn’t bode well for his legacy. Philip Hammond will show today how different his agenda will be in his first Autumn Statement.
Some parts of Hammond’s plan will be similar, we report, like more money (£1.3 billion ) going on Britain’s roads, affordable homes (£1.4 billion) and fuel duty remaining frozen. But other parts will mark a significant departure from Osbornomics, like his £1 billion boost for welfare. The new Chancellor will ease the impact of Osborne’s cuts by increasing the amount of benefits those on Universal Credit can keep while in work, so that they lose 63p rather than 65p for every pound they earn once they find a job. Iain Duncan Smith, who battled Osborne at length over potential cuts, has declared himself “over the moon” about Hammond’s decision to invest more money in Universal Credit, which will increase the earnings of more than 3million working families. This shows that Theresa May’s government is unpicking one of “Osborne’s misjudged projects”, James Kirkup writes, “the Tory war on welfare claimants”.
Another shift from Osbornomics is Hammond’s plan to ban letting agency fees, which makes the front pages of this morning’s Times and Guardian. He will argue that the ban will save millions of renters from having to pay up front charges of £337 on average, although the policy was strongly opposed by David Cameron’s Government just six months ago. We’ve been rounding up the predictions, leaks and rumours about what else Hammond might have in store here.
Chancellor Hammond’s room for giveaways will of course be constrained by the numbers. He hasn’t earned his reputation for “arguing like an accountant” for nothing. Official forecasts are set to show that the UK faces an additional deficit of up to £100 billion over the next four years in the wake of the Brexit vote, although Eurosceptics have warned that he will be making a “huge mistake” if he endorses “nonsensical” figures suggesting growth would collapse. They will both be pleased to hear that according to the deputy head of the International Monetary Fund, Brexit is not the biggest threat to word stability. Instead, David Lipton told the Telegraph, it is Europe’s failure to break its anemic economic growth cycle.
After six years of Osbornomics, Hammond will be keen to show that he is his own man at the Treasury. “In a time of political turmoil, boring is good,” Philip Johnston writes in today’s paper. Next spring, when Theresa May kickstarts Brexit by invoking Article 50, Johnston suggests “that will be the moment for Mr Hammond to break free of the Brown/Osborne political style that has essentially held sway for nigh on 20 years…rather than being Spreadsheet Phil, as he has been dubbed, he can metamorphose into Visionary Phil, looking ahead…to where the country needs to be in 20 years’ time rather than always looking in the rear-view mirror.”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has proposed amending the Constitution to prevent the European Union from settling migrants in Hungary without the approval of Parliament.
In a speech on October 4, Orbán said the amendment would be presented to Parliament on October 10, and, if approved, it would come into effect on November 8.
Hungarian voters overwhelmingly rejected the European Union’s mandatory migrant relocation plan in a referendum on October 2, but failed to turn out in sufficient numbers to make the referendum legally binding.
More than 97% of those who voted in the referendum answered ‘no’ to the question: “Do you want the European Union to be entitled to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of the National Assembly?”
Voter turnout was only 40%, however, far short of the 50% participation required to make the referendum valid under Hungarian law.
Orbán has been a vocal opponent of the EU’s plan to relocate 160,000 “asylum seekers” from Greece and Italy. Under the scheme, 1,294 migrants would be moved to Hungary. The Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, all former Communist countries, are also opposed to the EU plan, which they say is an “EU diktat” that infringes on national sovereignty.
Although the referendum has been invalidated, Orbán — whose eurosceptic Fidesz party has more support than all opposition parties combined — said he would not be deterred. Speaking to supporters after the polls closed, he said:
“The European Union’s proposal is to let the migrants in and distribute them in mandatory fashion among the member states and for Brussels to decide about this distribution. Hungarians today considered this proposal and they rejected it. Hungarians decided that only we Hungarians can decide with whom we want to live. The question was ‘Brussels or Budapest’ and we decided this issue is exclusively the competence of Budapest.”
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