TeleSUR: New UN Humanitarian Overview Gives Gloomy Outlook for 2023

At least 222 million people in 53 countries will face acute food insecurity by the end of 2022, with 45 million people in 37 countries risking starvation.

“By the end of the century, extreme heat could claim as many lives as cancer,” the GHO says, adding that it will take 132 years to achieve global gender parity, and globally 388 million women and girls are living in extreme poverty.

Incremental progress gets the goods! Your great great grandchildren will live in full equality in the concrete domes that house the remaining population of humanity!

WSWS: OECD forecasts worsening global economic outlook

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a grouping of 33 major economies, has forecast a worsening outlook for the global economy in a report issued last month.

Inquirer: Dollar steadies near 16-week low, yuan set for biggest weekly gain since 2005

The dollar was pinned near 16-week lows against a basket of major currencies on Friday ahead of key U.S. labor market data, while the yuan was set for its biggest weekly gain since China revalued its currency in 2005.

Inquirer: OPEC set to stick or cut more amid plan to cap Russian oil price


RT: EU tentatively agrees Russian oil price cap – Reuters

The proposed $60 a barrel ceiling on seaborne crude from Moscow is lower than initially intended

WSWS: Macron warns of “fracturing” of NATO alliance on state visit to Washington

French President Emmanuel Macron’s three-day visit to Washington revealed the bitter economic and geopolitical rivalries tearing apart the NATO alliance as it wages war on Russia in Ukraine.

RT: Airbus to cut Russian titanium purchases – Reuters

Major aircraft manufacturer Airbus expects to cut its reliance on Russian titanium supplies within months.

Guardian: Finland PM Sanna Marin says Europe is ‘not strong enough’ without the US

“We should make sure that we are stronger,” Marin said in Sydney on Friday. “And I’ll be brutally honest with you, Europe isn’t strong enough. We would be in trouble without the United States.”

WSWS: Communication Workers Union agrees sellout deal to end BT strike, pledges partnership in £3 billion cost-cutting agenda

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has reached a sellout below inflation agreement with BT to end the months’ long dispute that saw 40,000 telecoms workers hold eight days of strikes.

TeleSUR: British Postal Workers Strike to Demand Better Pay

WSWS: Trade union leaders speak at UCU London rally—rhetoric and reality

The University and College Union (UCU) held a rally Monday outside London’s Kings Cross rail station to mark the third and final day of national strike action by 70,000 university staff at 150 universities.

Jacobin: In Germany, Declining Workers’ Rights Are a Life-and-Death Issue

The death of cleaner Refat Süleyman at a Thyssenkrupp steel plant has put the spotlight on Germany’s exploitation of migrant workers. It’s also a story about deregulation — and how outsourcing is letting corporations cut corners on working conditions with impunity.

WSWS: Under conditions of murderous exploitation, a worker dies at Amazon in Leipzig, Germany

As the early shift neared its end, a worker collapsed while sorting packages. Cardboard was placed around the body as a screen, and operations continued as usual. This is how several Amazon employees reported what they had seen.

WSWS: Workers in Germany reject IG Metall’s collective bargaining agreement

On Tuesday, the Grand Collective Bargaining Commission of the IG Metall union in the German state of Baden-Württemberg approved a pilot agreement, even though it represents the third consecutive cut in real wages for the metal and electrical industries, and despite galloping inflation.

TeleSUR: New COVID-19 Variant Drives Virus Surge in France

Jacobin: Zara Workers in Spain Just Went on Strike — and They’ll Probably Do It Again

East Asia and Oceania

WSWS: Taiwan’s local elections a blow to ruling DPP and Washington

Guardian: Indonesia set to make sex outside marriage punishable by jail

Indonesia’s parliament is expected to pass a new criminal code this month that would criminalise sex outside marriage and outlaw insults against the president or state institutions, prompting alarm from human rights campaigners.

TeleSUR: Myanmar Military Junta Sentences 11 Dissidents to Death

Climate Home News: ‘Unparalleled in the world’: Australian grid operator maps path to 100% renewables

Australia’s Electricity Market Operator has laid out the engineering roadmap it needs to able to operate the country’s main grids on 100% renewable power for “hours and days” at a time.

The good news is that – despite the views of some vocal skeptics – it can be done. But there’s a bunch of things that need to happen first to smooth the way for the power system – for so long dependent on coal and gas – to be capable of running, at times, entirely on renewable energy.

WSWS: Australia: Labor’s new anti-strike industrial relations bill approved by parliament

Climate Home News: Vanuatu publishes draft resolution seeking climate justice at UN court

Central Asia and the Middle East

Euro News: Taliban silences Radio Free Europe in Afghanistan

Yeah, no shit, it’s the wrong continent.

North America

Monthly Review: U.S. commits to reignite space race during new Cold War vs. China, Russia

Responsible Statecraft: Here’s why America’s trust in the military is still in the dumps

The Ronald Reagan Institute has released its annual poll on Americans’ trust in its military, and not surprisingly, it’s still in the dumps. While the organization says the free fall from 70 percent just five years ago is “stabilizing,” the fact is that only 48 percent of respondents expressed “a great deal of trust and confidence” in the institution — just three points up from 2021.

According to the poll, 62 percent of respondents blame politicization. We don’t know what that means exactly, but it is interesting that there is no real split here between Republicans (65 percent), Democrats (60 percent) or independents (60 percent).

WSWS: With US police killings on track to eclipse last year’s record, Democratic-run cities seek to add killer robots

WSWS: Bernie Sanders, DSA play crucial role in passing anti-strike law against railroaders

On Wednesday afternoon, the US Senate voted by a margin of 80 to 15 to impose the terms of a national rail contract that tens of thousands of workers voted to reject. The vote in the Senate followed the law’s passage Tuesday in the House of Representatives. The law—which does not even include the fig leaf of seven paid sick days that was narrowly approved in the House—is a major assault on the democratic rights of all workers in the United States.

WSWS: Rank-and-file workers resolution: Congressional imposition of railroad contract is “completely illegitimate”

  1. We declare Congress’ move to impose a contract on railroaders that they rejected to be completely illegitimate. It is an attack on the democratic and Constitutional rights, including the right to strike and the right to participate in a meaningful contract vote, not only of railroaders, but of the entire working class. If it succeeds, it will set a precedent that will be used against other sections of workers in the future.

  2. As representatives of rank-and-file rail workers, we declare that, as far as we are concerned, there is no contract, whether Congress passes legislation or not. Congress, one of the most hated institutions in America, has no right to override the democratic rights of workers. If the apparatus of the unions signs these agreements, they do so in violation of the express will of the rank-and-file. Therefore, railroad workers reserve the right to organize and prepare collective action.

WSWS: US airline workers join railroaders in fight against abusive work conditions

Growing militancy among US airline workers over intolerable work conditions and low pay is fusing with the rebellion by railroad workers, who are heading toward an historic confrontation with the Biden administration and the US Congress with the passage of legislation imposing a contract that workers have rejected.

WSWS: Mississippi-based United Furniture Industries fires 2,700 workers without notice on eve of Thanksgiving holiday

Jacobin: Even After Dobbs, Abortions Still Haven’t Plummeted

The Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade was a blow to reproductive rights. But fortunately, new data suggest that most of those seeking abortions still seem to be getting them.

TeleSUR: Two Volcanoes Erupt Simultaneously in Hawaii

Two volcanoes on Hawaii Island are erupting simultaneously for the first time in nearly 40 years as lava approaches a major highway in the largest island of the United States' Hawaiian archipelago.

Inquirer: Mexico to hike minimum wage by 20% in 2023, raising inflation worries

Eat my fucking ass, Inquirer.

South America

Multipolarista: Latin America’s plan to challenge US dollar with new currency and ‘regional financial architecture’

Advising Brazil’s President-elect Lula, Ecuadorian economist and leftist presidential candidate Andrés Arauz made a blueprint for a “new regional financial architecture” to unite Latin America, including an international currency to challenge the hegemony of the US dollar and IMF.

TeleSUR: ICJ Issues Ruling on Chile-Bolivia Dispute Over Silala River

…through a 51-page ruling, the Court determined that Bolivia has the right to the canalization of the Silala river and Chile has no vested right to use all of its waters.

TeleSUR: Bolivia’s Lithium Revenues to November Exceed 2021 Numbers

TeleSUR: Russia Ready To Develop Cooperation With Cuba in New Formats

The Ukraine Proxy Conflict

Guardian: Up to 13,000 Ukraine soldiers killed since Russian invasion, says Kyiv

“Actually, it isn’t 100,000, it’s 10-13,000. And I mean that literally - between 10 deaths and 13,000."

Naked Capitalism: Biden Keeps Up Tough Talk on Ukraine Despite Evidence of Failure

On the one hand, it’s progress of sorts that it’s no longer verboten to talk about peace in the context of the war in Ukraine. Recall that when Kissinger tried to revive the idea of a negotiated end to the conflict after the UK (not doubt with US backing) scuppered the talks in Istanbul, the prevailing reaction was of revulsion. Russia must be comprehensively defeated!

And recall that Kissinger’s proposed terms were ones Russia would never accept, yet they were deemed unacceptably generous.

But even though peace is no longer a four letter word, for most commentators, it’s become a new way to fantasize about Russian rout. Putin needs an off ramp. The systematic demolition of Ukraine’s grid is a desperate last ditch measure, proving that Russia’s military is failing on the battlefield. The Russian public is revolting against the conscription. Ukraine troops are advancing.

It was not entirely surprising to see Biden, in a press conference yesterday with Emmanuel Macron, willing only to entertain a peace with Russia that amounts to capitulation. But major press outlets like the Financial Times presented Biden’s position as a softening….because he is now willing to talk to Putin, albeit with the precondition that Putin be the instigator, as in come to the West seeking, meaning needing, peace.


Retrospectives, History, and Theory

Al Jazeera: How British colonialism killed 100 million Indians in 40 years

Between 1880 to 1920, British colonial policies in India claimed more lives than all famines in the Soviet Union, Maoist China and North Korea combined.

Inside the Imperial Core

Responsible Statecraft: Diplomacy Watch: Divisions flare in the West as winter looms

The article takes the hilarious position that the reason why the West is fracturing is because Ukraine is winning, not because they’re very obviously losing. Even so, it’s not the worst analysis I’ve seen, based on skimming).

Naked Capitalism: Will Full Gas Stores Save Europe From An Energy Emergency?

It’s maddening to see articles from supposedly expert venues misinform readers, here about gas storage in Europe.

European gas storage facilities were never designed to hold enough to stand in place of a protracted and severe fall in supply. They were meant to serve as short-term buffers and back-up reserves.

The article also fails to mention that the gas that Europe stockpiled came pretty much entirely from Russia. European leaders are now up in arms that the LNG that they counted on as the replacement is super pricey and in scarce supply. They are even going so far as accusing the US of profiteering! To a degree that it true, but it is also shocking to see that Eurocrats failed to work out that sending gas in tankers across the ocean would be inherently more expensive than pipeline gas.

Other wee complicating factors are that France has had to delay the restart of three nuclear reactors, putting even more strain on European energy supplies, and Ukraine is no longer exporting electricity due to Russia’s tender ministrations to its grid.

Let us also not forget that nuclear reactors overwhelmingly depend on Russian uranium.

And the coup de grace…even if Europe squeak through the winter, at the likely cost of more deindustrialization and business closures…it will still be in a chronic energy shortfall. How does it get through the year, let alone winter 2023?

Onwards to the Oil Price article.

Naked Capitalism: Hot Air Versus Hot Cash – The Europeans Prefer Russian LNG To US LNG

The literature on cognitive biases has many examples of how presenting the same economic proposition in different terms, such as insurance versus a bet, will elicit different responses. Here we has the Russian gas cognitive bias. If it comes via a dedicated pipeline, as in no way, no how can Europeans kid themselves as to what they are buying, then it’s supporting Putin’s war machine and continuing to consume it would be sacrilegious. But LNG via tanker? Most Europeans seem to regard that as all a muchness.

Speaking of Putin, he was early to observe and make use of the Russian gas cognitive bias. He and Erdogan are confident that Russian pipeline gas, when it goes through a Turkish hub and will be presumed to have been mixed with gas from other countries, wil be deemed to have lost its Russian character.

Jacobin: The SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon Has Led the Cause of Scottish Independence to a Dead End

The UK Supreme Court has blocked an attempt to hold a new referendum on Scottish independence. The setback has exposed the limits of SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s strategy, which channeled the independence movement’s radical energies into a centrist cul-de-sac.

Climate Change

TeleSUR: Research Predicts Rising Forest Fire Risk as Air Gets Thirstier

A new study led by Australian researchers has found that greater atmospheric demand for water is associated with a rising risk of major fires in global forests, calling for more urgent and effective action to combat climate change.