RT: Real wages drop globally – UN

According to the latest report released by the International Labor Organization (ILO), monthly wages declined by 0.9% in real terms in the first half of the current year, marking the first negative wage growth since 2008.

Monthly Review: The Global South births a new game-changing payment system

The Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) is speeding up its design of a common payment system, which has been closely discussed for nearly a year with the Chinese under the stewardship of Sergey Glazyev, the EAEU’s minister in charge of Integration and Macro-economy.

Through its regulatory body, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the EAEU has just extended a very serious proposal to the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) which, crucially, are already on the way to turning into BRICS+: a sort of G20 of the Global South.

The system will include a single payment card—in direct competition with Visa and Mastercard—merging the already existing Russian MIR, China’s UnionPay, India’s RuPay, Brazil’s Elo, and others.

That will represent a direct challenge to the western-designed (and enforced) monetary system, head on. And it comes on the heels of BRICS members already transacting their bilateral trade in local currencies, and bypassing the U.S. dollar.


Oil Price: Russia Boosts Production While OPEC+ Considers Deeper Oil Output Cuts

With only 3 days to go until the EU ban on Russian seaborne crude imports gets implemented, Russian oil producers are going against all expectations and have actually ramped up production in recent weeks, according to some accounts. On October 5th, the group of oil producers known as OPEC+ agreed to cut production in November by 2 million bpd, ignoring calls from the U.S. to pump more crude to keep prices palatable for consumers. The proposed cut came at a moment when OPEC+ deemed it necessary to cut production to stabilize crude markets in the face of wavering global demand this autumn.

FT: Russia assembles ‘shadow fleet’ of tankers to help blunt oil sanctions

Russia has quietly amassed a fleet of over 100 ageing tankers to help circumvent western restrictions on Russian oil sales following its invasion of Ukraine, according to shipping brokers and analysts.

RT: EU chief compares Ireland’s struggles against Britain to Ukraine conflict

In a speech on Friday – the 50th anniversary of Ireland becoming an EU member – von der Leyen said she “would like to dwell on five Irish virtues that will help our union to face our common challenges ahead. First, the Irish passion for freedom. This country knows what it means to struggle for the right to exist.”

“Today, another European nation is fighting for independence. Of course, Ireland is far away from the front line in Ukraine. But you understand better than most why this war matters so much to all of us.”

According to the European Commission head, Ukraine is not only fighting for its own future, but also for “freedom itself, for self-rule, for the rules-based global order.”

Her comments did not go unnoticed in Britain, with local media warning that her words could end up complicating talks on renegotiating the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol trading arrangements between London and Brussels.

WSWS: University of Sheffield International College staff mount first strike at a UK private higher education provider

WSWS: High excess mortality as coronavirus death rates rise in Germany

Excess mortality has reached record levels in Germany and coronavirus deaths are higher than in any previous year. Nevertheless, governments of all parties at federal and state level have declared the pandemic over and lifted the last remaining protective measures.

TeleSUR: It’s Time to Say Enough!, Italy Strikes Against War, Inflation

TeleSUR: French Electricity Operator Warns of Possible Power Cut

East Asia and Oceania

SCMP: Huge nuclear arms push by China would worry neighbours, analysts warn, as US report sees 1,500 warheads by 2035

Oil Price: India To Keep Purchasing Russian Oil After Sanctions Go Into Effect

WSWS: Western Australian industrial court threatens to deregister nurses’ union after strike

The Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) threatened Tuesday to suspend the registration of the Australian Nurses Federation (ANF), in response to a 24-hour statewide strike on November 25, the first by health workers in the ANF for 24 years.

Inquirer: Peso ends at strongest level in nearly four months

The Philippine peso on Friday closed at 55.74:$1, its strongest position against the greenback in nearly four months after government efforts, both through policy rate hikes and market interventions, to stabilize the local currency produced the desired results.

WSWS: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

North America

Al Jazeera: US unveils $700m, next-generation B-21 nuclear bomber

US Air Force plans to buy at least 100 B-21 Raider stealth bombers, which come with a $700 million price tag per plane.

Jacobin: Railroad Bosses Gave Millions to Congress to Defeat Their Workers

The booming railroad industry has delivered multimillion dollar payouts to CEOs and shareholders in recent years. The industry has also shoveled millions of dollars into campaign contributions — no wonder Congress knocked down pro–rail worker legislation.

South America

Multipolarista: US youth observe Cuba’s elections – and learn about real democracy

A delegation of youth from the United States observed Cuba’s November 2022 municipal elections and offer an inside look into a true people’s democracy, where workers decide who will govern them, not wealthy oligarchs and corporations.

Climate Home News: Brazil’s incoming government set to scrap gas pipelines and power plants

TeleSUR: 17 Municipalities in Emergency Due to Heavy Rains in Brazil

TeleSUR: Peru: President Castillo to Face Impeachment Trial on Dec. 7

The Ukraine Proxy Conflict

Anti War: The Ukraine War: Cracks in Unexpected Places

Al Jazeera: US adds Wagner mercenaries to blacklist for religious persecution

The United States has added Latin American adversaries Cuba and Nicaragua as well as Russia’s Wagner Group to a blacklist on international religious freedom, opening the path to potential sanctions.


Retrospectives, History, and Theory

Monthly Review: The crisis of Western imperialism and the imperative of war and repression

The Left and the Right

WSWS: Jacobin promotes student debt bankruptcy

This isn’t the first time Jacobin has presented bankruptcy as a solution to student debt. In the April 8, 2021 Jacobin article, “The End of Joe Biden’s Student Debt Prison May Be in Sight,” author Walker Bragman wrote that the Supreme Court was considering hearing a case that “could defang a draconian bankruptcy law championed by Joe Biden and his financial industry donors sixteen years ago.” Bragman claimed that this “could offer people a meaningful pathway out of massive student debt.”

A “meaningful pathway?” A more apt description of bankruptcy is a measure of last resort incurring its own nightmarish costs to debtors.

Bankruptcy proceedings can be “expensive” according to Bankrate, citing a $240 filing fee, $700 to $2,000 in lawyer fees and additional court fees. It is a long legal process usually taking four to six months. It causes long-term damage to one’s credit score for a period of seven to 10 years (for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, respectively) which often leads to higher insurance rates.

Both types of bankruptcy usually involve losing all credit cards, as well as making it difficult or impossible to get an auto loan or house loan. It can even make getting an apartment lease more difficult, as most landlords require a credit history to rent an apartment.

Nor does bankruptcy necessarily eliminate all of one’s debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a repayment plan over three to five years, while Chapter 7 requires the liquidation of all non-exempt assets to pay back creditors.

Inside the Imperial Core

Monthly Review: Mali’s bBreak with France is a symptom of cracks in the Transatlantic Alliance: The Forty-Eighth Newsletter (2022)