Today's Top Stories

NUJ ballots over no-confidence vote in BBC director general

The National Union of Journalists is to ballot its members on a vote of no confidence in Mark Thompson, the BBC director general, over his cost-cutting program that includes nearly 2,000 job cuts. In an unprecedented move for the 104-year-old union, NUJ officials unanimously agreed to the ballot at a meeting on Wednesday, with general secretary Michelle Stanistreet saying Thompson was being singled out as the "architect of this butchery."

Unions, Occupy Wall Street to protest outside Treasury for ‘Robin Hood’ tax

Pivoting off the Occupy Wall Street movement, unions are planning coordinated protests today for a financial transactions tax. Organizers estimate more than 1,500 union members from more than 20 labor groups, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME and CWA, will be outside the Treasury Department to call for what has become known as the “Robin Hood Tax.” Occupy Wall Street protesters also are being bused in from New York by National Nurses United.

Occupy rally shuts down shipping port indefinitely

Occupy Wall Street protesters declared victory after thousands of demonstrators shut down one of the nation's busiest shipping ports late Wednesday, escalating a movement whose tactics had largely been limited to marches, rallies and tent encampments since it began in September. The nearly 5-hour protest at the Port of Oakland, the nation's fifth-busiest shipping port, was intended to highlight a daylong "general strike" in the city, which prompted solidarity rallies in New York, Los Angeles and other cities across the nation.

Labor Finds a Young Soulmate

A better way to think about the role of unions in the Occupy Wall Street movement is to ask what OWS can offer the labor movement. Occupy Wall Street could inspire what remains of organized labor in this country to move away from just pushing specific employers for modest wage gains and start organizing working-class people in order to shape not just industry standards, but a new economic order, as its frustrated radical factions have dreamt about.

If a paywall is your only strategy, then you are doomed

The NYT paywall is what I’ve called a “sandbag strategy,” in that its main goal is to shore up print circulation so that the paper can continue to benefit from higher-value print ads, even as that market declines. Is the New York Times better off having a paywall than it would be otherwise? Possibly. But because it is by definition a stop-gap strategy, newspapers that are relying solely on a paywall to save their bacon are likely doomed.

America Occupies Wall Street Because Wall Street Occupies America

During the prairie revolt that swept the Great Plains a century after the Constitution was ratified, the populist orator Mary Elizabeth Lease exclaimed: "Wall Street owns the country...Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The [political] parties lie to us and the political speakers mislead us...Money rules." That was 1890. Those agrarian populists boiled over with anger that corporations, banks, and government were ganging up to deprive every day people of their livelihood. She should see us now.

Murdoch writes off $91m for shutting News of the World in hacking scandal

Closing the News of the World cost Rupert Murdoch's News Corp $91 million, the company has announced. News Corp also incurred $130 million in "other" charges over the quarter, which included the cost of dropping its bid to acquire 100% of satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting. As a result, while total revenue for the first quarter was $7.96 billion, 7% higher than a year ago, net income was down by nearly 5%.

Federal Court Authorizes Seizure Of Righthaven's Assets

When copyright enforcement outfit Righthaven first started suing bloggers for reposting news articles, the company demanded not only up to $150,000 in damages, but also the surrender of their domain names. But now, 275 lawsuits later, it's Righthaven that could end up surrendering its assets. Monday night, a federal court authorized marshals to seize Righthaven's property in order to satisfy a judgment against it for around $60,000.