Events


Globally


Reuters: Oil prices fall on higher U.S. dollar, economic fears

Oil prices fell in a volatile market on Tuesday, as a stronger U.S. dollar and economic uncertainty offset the bullish impact of a price cap placed on Russian oil and prospects of a demand boost in China.

FT: Solar boom will see sunshine surpass coal for power in 5 years, IEA says

Solar power is undergoing a boom as the energy crisis drives a shift to renewable energy following the war in Ukraine and is expected to surpass coal power by 2027, the International Energy Agency has forecast.

Not if the Western Green parties have anything to say about it.


Europe


RT: Russian oil shipments to Europe dwindling – Bloomberg

Deliveries of Russian seaborne oil to Europe have dropped more than fivefold since the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Monday citing vessel tracking data. Analysts expect those figures to slide further after an EU embargo and the Western coalition’s $60 price cap on Russian seaborne barrels are in full swing. Both measures came into force on Monday, but have a transition period during which some deliveries are still possible.

Guardian: UK risks sleepwalking into food supply crisis, says farmers’ union

Rising costs could result in supply problems for energy-intensive crops including tomatoes, cucumbers and pears – which are on track for their lowest yields since records began in 1985 – and rationing at supermarkets as recently experienced with eggs, the union said.

WSWS: Many UK schools structurally unsound, posing danger to life

Schools and other public buildings in the UK could be in danger of collapse because they have not been subject to regular safety inspections or properly maintained.

TeleSUR: Denmark Sees Record Number of Bankruptcies in November

A total of 331 companies filed for bankruptcy in Denmark in November, the highest number in 13 years, according to a new report published by SMVdanmark on Monday.

Euro News: Italy ageing faster than EU peers as population falls below 59 million

FT: Slovenia plans to build pipeline to Hungary to transport Algerian gas

Slovenia plans to build a pipeline that would transport Algerian gas to Hungary, helping Budapest to kick its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, said the central European nation’s prime minister.


East Asia and Oceania


Reuters: Russian oil selling at $79/barrel in Asia on Monday, well above price cap

Global Times: Key project of China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline is completed

A key construction project of the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline was completed on Saturday. It will allow Russian gas to cross the Yangtze River to reach Shanghai, laying the foundation for the full completion of the landmark China-Russia energy cooperation project.

ANN: Digital yuan to spread its wings

WSWS: Chinese Communist Party moves towards “herd immunity” policy

ANN: First fruit transportation train launched on China-Laos Railway

This is the first special train for fruit transportation running along the China-Laos railway, which went into operation on Dec 3, 2021. The train is loaded with 25 refrigerated containers of Thai longan, Lao banana and other fruits, with a total value of more than 5.5 million yuan (about 783,200 U.S. dollars).

Reuters: Rupee below 82/USD for first time in a month, premiums at 12-yr low

Inquirer: Mongolians clash with police in protest against inflation and graft

Mongolian protesters clashed with police as they tried to storm parliament after thousands gathered in freezing temperatures to demonstrate against soaring inflation and government corruption. The protests began in the capital Ulaanbaatar on Sunday, triggered by allegations that surfaced two months ago of government officials profiting from illegal sales of coal to China, independent broadcaster TenGer TV said.

Al Jazeera: Protesters in Mongolia try to storm state palace

Al Jazeera: Fuel runs dry at South Korean petrol stations as truckers strike

Nearly 100 petrol stations across country run out of fuel as 25,000 truckers demonstrate over pay.

WSWS: South Korean unions prepare sell-out of striking truck drivers

Reuters: Russia deploys defence missile system on Kuril island near Japan

Inquirer: Philippine inflation leaps to 14-year high in November

Inquirer: Australia central bank raises rates to 10-yr high, says more needed

WSWS: Climate change protester jailed for 15 months in Australia

TeleSUR: World’s Largest Radio Telescope to Be Built in Australia

Inquirer: Australia records first current account deficit in three years


Central Asia and the Middle East


MEMO: Oil tankers queue up off Turkiye as price cap on Russian crude kicks in

Oil tankers formed a traffic jam off the coast of Turkiye on day one of the West’s price cap on Russian crude, with Ankara insisting on new proof of insurance for all vessels, the Financial Times reported on Monday.Around 19 crude oil tankers were waiting to cross Turkish waters on Monday, the report said, citing ship brokers, oil traders and satellite tracking services, Reuters reports.

MEMO: Iran says won’t resume nuclear talks ‘under threat’

ANN: Russia to provide petrol, diesel to Pakistan at discounted rates: minister

Pakistan struggles to meet domestic gas supply needs as winter approaches while battling to contain a current account deficit swelled by energy payments, mostly for oil. In a press conference in Islamabad today, Malik said: “Our visit to Russia turned out to be more productive than expected.”

Responsible Statecraft: How the UAE turns its interests into US policy

UAE meddling in U.S. politics is now a national security concern, according to a classified report compiled by U.S. intelligence officials and briefed to policymakers in Congress and the executive branch. While the report remains classified to the public, the UAE’s attempts to illegally meddle in U.S. politics and elections, however, have made front page headlines for years — including a scheme to illegally funnel millions of dollars into the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election and a multi-million dollar covert campaign to vilify the UAE’s rival Qatar in Washington.


Africa


MEMO: Egypt seeks first IMF loan installment this month

Egypt hopes to receive the first $750 million installment of a recently approved International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan before the end of the year, the Finance Minister, Mohamed Maait, announced yesterday.

Africa News: Rwanda accuses US of ‘exacerbating’ crisis in eastern DRC

MEMO: Algeria signs executive plan for Belt and Road initiative with China

WSWS: South Africa: Corruption scandal threatens Ramaphosa’s presidency and the ANC’s grip on power

A damning parliamentary report into the theft of a vast sum of cash at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s game farm recommended an investigation by parliament. It could lead to his impeachment, if two-thirds of the legislators vote against him, making him the first South African president to face impeachment.

TeleSUR: Two Boats Save 103 People Amid Threats From the Libyan Guard

On Sunday, humanitarian ships Louise Michel and Humanity 1 carried out a dangerous rescue in the Mediterranean, saving 103 migrants who were traveling in a small rubber dinghy amid threats from an armed Libyan coast guard boat.


North America


Al Jazeera: US Supreme Court hears arguments challenging LGBTQ rights law

The United States Supreme Court’s conservative majority has signalled sympathy towards an evangelical Christian web designer whose business refuses to provide services for same-sex marriages.

People’s Daily: Respiratory illnesses surge across U.S., worsening strain on hospitals

A total of 47 U.S. jurisdictions experienced “high” or “very high” flu activity in the week ending Nov. 26, up from 36 jurisdictions a week before, CDC data showed. About 20,000 hospitalizations from flu were reported across the country in the week.

WSWS: Democratic Socialists of America scrambles to defend its role in imposing rail contract

The Democratic Socialists of America has been thrown into crisis after three of its four members in the House of Representatives voted to impose a contract on the railroad workers, blocking a national rail strike. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush all voted in favor of the bill, with only Rashida Tlaib voting against.

WSWS: Pennsylvania and Ohio educators pass resolution supporting railroad workers

The Pennsylvania and Ohio Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee fully supports the Railway workers’ rejection of any sellout contract. Whether such contracts are forced on railroaders through conspiracies by the carriers and unions, or by the carriers and unions in concert with the Biden administration, courts and Wall Street—all such contracts deserve to be rejected in their entirety.

WSWS: 15,000 Minnesota nurses set to strike on December 11

As many as 15,000 Minnesota nurses are set to strike on December 11 if hospital chains and the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) Union fail to reach a new labor agreement by that time. The strike would hit 16 hospitals in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and Two Ports.

Inside Climate News: Why American Aluminum Plants Emit Far More Climate Pollution Than Some of Their Counterparts Abroad

Short answer: They’re old.


South America


Inquirer: US expands deportation relief to some 264,000 Haitians

The Biden administration will expand deportation relief and access to work permits for Haitians who are already in the United States, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said on Monday, a move that comes as Haiti’s government struggles to stabilize the country.

Reuters: Venezuela sees oil exports financing almost two-thirds of 2023 budget

Venezuela’s government expects oil exports to finance 63% of its national budget in 2023, a document seen by Reuters showed, a slightly higher proportion than this year, as U.S sanctions against the government are being reviewed.

Canadian Dimension: Lula is creating a new police unit to curb environmental crimes in Brazil

TeleSUR: Argentina Recorded Over 12 000 New COVID-19 Cases Last Week

In the latest epidemiological report, the Argentine Ministry of Health noted that the number of new cases confirmed in the last week increased by 279.4 percent, while deaths increased slightly by 12 percent.


The Ukraine Proxy Conflict


WSWS: German government steps up armaments drive and sends more tanks to Ukraine

Following last week’s meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Bucharest, the German government is stepping up its arms deliveries to Kiev. According to media reports, Berlin is sending another seven Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to the Ukrainian army.

Holy shit. I think it’s time that Putin negotiates.

Inquirer: Half of Kyiv’s region to remain without power for days–governor

Naked Capitalism: Against Backdrop of War, Rolling Blackouts and Internet Outages, Ukraine Is Trying to Digitize Everything

Ukraine may be suffering a rising wave of rolling power blackouts and internet outages as the proxy war between Russia and NATO intensifies, but that doesn’t seem to have crimped the Zelensky government’s ambitions to transform the country into a digital wonderland. In the past week alone, Ukraine’s central bank unveiled plans for a digital E-hryvnia and Kiev signed a digital trade agreement (yep, they do exist) with the United Kingdom.

“Ukraine should set up a digital hryvnia” sounds like a bit one of us would make in the middle of a missile strike. These people are actual fucking clowns.


Analysis


Inside the Imperial Core


Michael Roberts: Powell’s pivot and the impending slump

I have shown in previous posts that inflation is primarily a supply-side story ie the failure of capitalist production to respond to the opening-up of economies after the pandemic slump. That is why the monetarist solution of rate hikes and tighter monetary policy and the Keynesian solution of wage restraint will have little effect on inflation – until recession comes.

Let me add some support for this supply-side argument from the horse’s mouth, as it were. Philip Lane of the ECB published a detailed analysis of inflation last week. That analysis shows that it is rising non-labour input costs and higher profit markups that have generated accelerating inflation in food, goods and services sectors over 2021-2022. “It seems clear that both the energy shock and the pandemic cycle (at both domestic and global levels) have exerted upward pressure on input costs and, in some categories, also facilitated an increase in markups.” So it’s raw material costs and profit mark-ups.

And any improvement in inflation rates in the last two months has been due to some subsidence in supply bottle-necks and in energy and food prices. In a new report, some American heterodox economists conclude that inflation rises have been concentrated in some key ‘systemic’ sectors like energy, food and housing. And these sectors are price-inelastic when it comes to interest-rate hikes. “We argue that in times of overlapping emergencies, economic stabilization needs to go beyond monetary policy and requires institutions and policies that can target these systemically significant sectors.”


Outside the Imperial Core


Developing Economics: Dependence and ecology in contemporary Latin America, part 2: Limits to sub-imperial autonomy

Counterpunch: The Volatility of US Hegemony in Latin America: Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti, and China