What follows is the text of an email from the International Action Center sent to activists around the United States.The International Action Center is launching a people-to-people aid campaign for the ultra-devastated nation of Puerto Rico.The IAC is collecting monetary donations to send to politically established grassroots organizations — specifically the Puerto Rico Teachers’ Federation (FMPR), which is working with other unions and groups organizing working brigades throughout the island to help poor communities, teachers and students who lost everything.Why is the IAC launching this campaign? The entire world has seen the utter destruction of the beautiful island of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean on Sept. 20. Weeks after the hurricane hit, millions remain without food, water or shelter. Almost the entire island has no electricity. People are dying, hungry and desperate despite the fact that it is well-known that the U.S. could alleviate the situation if it really wanted to.It will take years to repair Puerto Rico. But if the solidarity movement does not continue its work in the U.S. to demand genuine aid, the island could be rebuilt entirely for the needs of the banks and the corporations. The gentrification we see in our neighborhoods will take over the entire island.Furthermore, the struggle against colonialism and for the independence of Puerto Rico could be completely derailed as a result of this catastrophe. We are confident, however, that the Puerto Rican people will not allow this to happen.The IAC wants to do its part to help. We are carrying out people-to-people solidarity by sending money to organizations that have long been in the struggle to defend the people from U.S. imperialism.Long after the news of Puerto Rico is off the front pages, solidarity actions with Puerto Rico and all the Caribbean will be urgent. The U.S. solidarity movement is now discussing people-to-people work brigades as well as continued protests to demand real aid, not military occupation for Puerto Rico. Furthermore, Trump’s arrogant actions toward Puerto Rico cannot be used by the Democrats to overlook the real issues. It was under the Democratic administration of Barack Obama that the Promesa Act was passed, forcing Puerto Rico to pay the illegitimate debt of $74 billion!Donate to the IAC at iacenter.org. One hundred percent of the money collected will go to the FMPR with a message of solidarity against U.S. imperialism.We are calling for:An end to PROMESA, repeal the Jones Act!No privatization of the island!Puerto Rico for the Puerto Ricans, not the banks!Cancel the debt and pay reparations!No militarization of Puerto Rico!Solidarity with the Virgin Islands, Haiti and all the Caribbean!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Today (2 April 2019), thousands of people across the US will celebrate National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day with a dollop of jam, thanks to the rise in exports from the UK’s biggest seller of jams, marmalades and preserves in the USA, Mackays.Founded in 1938, Mackays is a family run business producing a unique range of Scottish jams, marmalades and curds for a quality homemade taste. The company’s preserve is made by hand in traditional copper pans, remaining true to Dundee’s history of jam-making.The US is Mackays’ biggest export market, where its jams are stocked in all 50 states and territories – accounting for 20% of international sales last year. With support from the Department for International Trade (DIT), Mackays’ preserves are now enjoyed in 94 countries worldwide including Australia, China, Guatemala, Guyana, Korea and Peru.Ross Allen, Director of DIT North America, said: My kids love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I am delighted that more Americans are discovering the culinary peaks that can be reached by using top notch Scottish jam. With 165 employees based in its Arbroath jam factory, Mackays fills 25 million jars a year. The company has established a globally recognised brand, with exports now accounting for 32% of its annual turnover of £18 million.In 2018, the UK exported 50,000 tonnes of jam to 119 markets worldwide, resulting in jam exports rising by 9% to £145 million.Martin Grant, Managing Director of Mackays, said: Export is a crucial part of our business and a key driver for Mackays continued high growth; an increase of 25% in the last 2 years alone. The popularity of our products in the States is testament to the global appeal of great taste, provenance and authenticity – all vital ingredients that go into each and every jar of Mackays. Seeing our products embraced and interpreted by different cultures is one of the unspoken joys of export. In our home town of Arbroath, the jam piece – Scots for sandwich! – still suffices which makes seeing our Nordic customers adding lemon curd to baked fish or our friends in American combining jam with peanut butter such a treat. Mackays is an excellent example of a thriving transatlantic business and I look forward to following the growth of UK food and drink in the United States.
The 90-year-old cleric was abducted along with 10 others by suspected Anglophone separatists.- Advertisement –
A bomb killed 11 people in a poor district of Pakistan’s financial hub of Karachi on Wednesday, mostly teenagers playing street football at a crowded market, officials said.The sweltering port of 18 million people is largely inured to violence – around a dozen bodies are found around the city every day – but the killing of so many youngsters shocked many residents.“There was total chaos when the bomb went off. People were screaming and running for safety,” said resident Zafar Baluch.It was unclear who was behind the blast in the Lyari district, a stronghold of the main opposition Pakistan People’s Party. Karachi is home to many militant groups, including the Taliban. Many political parties there have armed wings to fight turf wars.The attack appeared to be aimed at a provincial minister, Javed Nagori, who had come to hand out prizes at the football match, said provincial information minister Sharjeel Memon.The children had been playing while their parents shopped for the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid. In the run-up to Eid, many markets open all night since residents are fasting during the day. “There was smoke everywhere and people were covered in glass,” said Sheree, who didn’t want to give her last name. She was near Nagori’s convoy when the blast knocked her off her feet. She saw the bodies of three children, she said.In the capital of Islamabad, security forces have been put on high alert until the holiday is over.