By Tatiana FlowersRabat –  At the Democratic National Convention, Muslim leaders urged the community to vote, insisting that it’s a powerful mechanism to challenge and even combat the rise of hate speech and Islamophobia right now in America.“We can defeat hate. Islamophobia is not a Muslim issue; it’s an American issue,” said Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Hate crimes are on the rise. The biggest victim of Islamophobia is America and its future prospect,” Awad said at the convention. Muslim leaders at the Democratic National Convention insisted that getting involved with politics and economy is more important now that ever, adding that the United States has never had a presidential candidate who has targeted the community so largely. “We never had a leader of a major party openly calling for religious hate against a particular community,” said Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, a Muslim Democratic Party affiliate.Ellison’s comment comes after Donald Trump’s proposition to ban Muslims from entering the United States, a tactic he sees fit in combating the rise of radicalized terrorism, which has caused conflict between Americans who agree with the ban and those who don’t agree.But Donald Trump isn’t the only one who believes in this solution.According to Al Jazeera, “former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in an interview, people from a Muslim background should be tested to see if they believe in Sharia law, and be deported if they do.”  His comment came after the recent attacks in Nice, France at Bastille Day, that left more than 80 dead and more than 300 injured, after a radicalized terrorist drove a truck into crowds of people.And it isn’t only Americans who support this ban.Sonia Kruger, who hosts “Today Extra,” said in a live broadcast that she would support a ban on Muslims in her home country of Australia, because it’s “important.”  Her Donald Trump approach came after the attacks in Nice, and she added, “Especially as a mother, I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do when they go out to celebrate Australia Day, and I’d like to see freedom of speech.”Others in the spotlight who support this ban include, Mike Tyson, Dutch leader, Geert Wilders, French leader, Marine Le Pen, Obama’s half-brother, Malik Obama, and even a Texas imam.Muslims only make up one percent of the national vote, according to Voice of America.  But some say, in states where Muslims make up a larger percentage of the population like Michigan, Virginia, Minnesota, and California, their vote is crucial.Omar Ahmadzai, and artist in Virginia told Voice of America, “If we want to be heard or even feel the need to better our lives in the U.S., then our only option is to be involved in politics. read more

He made the call ahead of a major gathering next summer that will bring together business leaders, government ministers and heads of civil society groups committed to United Nations principles. “We face market breakdowns, environmental degradation, hunger, climate change and many other crises,” Mr. Ban said in a message for the website for the Global Compact Leaders Summit, to be held in June 2010 in at UN Headquarters in New York. The event can “project a vision of the kind of corporate leadership we need to defeat poverty, protect the planet and achieve other vital goals,” he said, underscoring the importance of collaboration in achieving these targets. The June gathering will mark the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. 18 December 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the private sector to take the helm in the “urgent task” of building markets that are more sustainable and inclusive. read more

NEW YORK — Consumers have supported the economy during its record-setting expansion, but a shrinking manufacturing sector, crushing tariffs and other dangers may bring the good times to an end.Fresh warning bells rang on Wall Street earlier this month after factory output shrank for the first time in three years. That threatens the economy’s decade-long expansion, as it could lead to cuts in jobs and wages, undermining the U.S.’s consumer-led growth.“Without any sort of catalyst to help turn the sentiment around we anticipate that continued weakness in the manufacturing sector is likely to bleed over into the consumer sector, which then can drag down the economy further,” said Peter Donisanu, investment strategy analyst at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.Consumer spending momentum typically follows the health of the manufacturing sector.August’s weak manufacturing data is just the latest signal of a slowing economy. U.S. manufacturers also cut jobs last month, and business spending is falling.“Businesses are holding back on spending because they’re worried about not knowing what the rules of the game are, related to trade, said Jason Pride, chief investment officer for private wealth at Glenmede.Meanwhile the Labor Department said manufacturing productivity suffered its worst performance in the second quarter since mid-2017. Taken together the data points to lagging demand that could eventually drag down consumer spending.Signs of consumers’ anxiety have already begun to appear. Retail sales, excluding auto purchases, were flat in August, according to the Commerce Department. Sales at restaurants and bars, an indicator of Americans’ discretionary spending, fell 1.2% last month, the steepest drop in nearly a year. Sales at grocery stores, clothing retailers and furniture stores also fell. General merchandisers, which include chain retailers such as Walmart and Target, reported a 0.3% drop.Meanwhile, consumer sentiment fell last month by the most in seven years, according to the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index.Investors should keep a close eye on how the service sector, which makes up the bulk of the U.S. economy, reacts to the hurting manufacturing sector.“We’ve seen cycles where manufacturing pulled back and services followed. When that occurred, we ended up in a more difficult economic environment,” Pride said.For now the sector is holding up, even expanding at a stronger pace in August after two months of cooling.For businesses and investors, much depends on how the trade feud between the U.S. and China plays out. The countries plan to meet in October to continue negotiations following months of escalating rounds of tariffs.If the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese imports lead, as expected, to higher prices on everything from toys to clothing and shoes, it could undermine consumer confidence even further, weakening the economy’s last remaining support.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press read more