Actors’ union reaches tentative agreement with studios; productions resume – National & International News -THU 8Nov2023

Actors’ union reaches tentative agreement with studios; production resumes.

House GOP nixes votes on stopgap funding bill as shutdown looms.

“Turning point” in Myanmar civil war?


Actors’ union reaches tentative agreement with studios, production resumes

 SAG-AFTRA, the union representing 160,000 Hollywood screen and television actors and other media professionals, has announced a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents major studios. This follows a 118-day strike which coincided for several weeks with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. The WGA strike resolved in September, but SAG-AFTRA’s continued to out on key demands which the studios had previously rejected. This included protections for members against their AI likenesses being used without their permission, as well as a more equitable compensation scheme for content viewed on streaming services.

On Monday, SAG-AFTRA rejected what the studios said was their “final and best” offer, because it still did not address their key issues. Then last night, the union announced that a tentative deal had been reached that increased compensation and addressed AI protections for performers. The full details of the contract are not yet available and the full membership must still vote to ratify the new contract. In the meantime, SAG-AFTRA has called off the strike and members are encouraged to get back to work as soon as possible.

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Surge in union organizing across numerous sectors (opens in new tab). 


House GOP nixes votes on stopgap funding bill as shutdown looms

Just a few weeks after House GOP leadership was all-smiles after electing their new Speaker, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), Republicans are once again at loggerheads over proposals to fund the government beyond November 17. If a deal cannot be reached in time, it will trigger a partial government shutdown.

Stubborn ideological divisions remain over deficit policy and certain social issues that has so far blocked two votes on a continuing resolution this week. Johnson hopes to have something to bring to the floor for a vote by next Tuesday. However, the mood among his fellow House Republicans is anything but optimistic.

“I don’t think the Lord Jesus himself could manage this group,” said Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX). Another anonymous member said, “We’re still dealing with the same divisions we always have had. We’re ungovernable”. Ungovernable and, for the moment, unable to govern. 

Meanwhile, the Democratic-controlled Senate is moving ahead with its own continuing resolution bill, which would still need to win sufficient votes in the House to avert a shutdown.

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“Turning point” in Myanmar civil war?

On Feb. 1, 2021, military leaders in the South Asian country of Myanmar (sometimes known as Burma) deposed and arrested the country’s democratically-elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Since then, Myanmar’s civilian population has been resisting the junta and demanding the return of civilian government. At first, the resistance took the form of peaceful protests in which hundreds were killed by military police. Protesters later joined forces with armed ethnic groups in various border regions. The groups eventually came together to form the National Unity Government, in opposition to the military junta (sometimes called the Tatmadaw). 

The military government has had difficulty establishing a foothold in any of the minority-dominated areas. However, the Tatmadaw have carried out numerous massacres in villages in the remote areas, only some of which have come to international attention. This included a firebombing of an aid convoy that killed two foreign aid workers in December 2021.

Now, it appears that in Myanmar’s eastern Shan province (which borders Thailand, Laos and China), ethnic minority militants have managed to deal serious blows to the Tatmadaw forces in the area. 

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