WSWS: Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa
TeleSUR: Russia, U.S. Conduct Prisoners Swap
Russian citizen Viktor Bout was exchanged for U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner on Thursday at the Abu Dhabi airport, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced.
TeleSUR: Moscow Does Not Want to Break Diplomatic Relations With US
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia does not want to break diplomatic relations with the United States. “We would not like this kind of development. In general, the severance of diplomatic relations signifies no political means left; only force remains. We do not need this,” he said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia.
Climate Change News: UK coal mine approval sparks global fury and hypocrisy claims
After more than three years of debate, communities minister Michael Gove approved the Whitehaven coal mine on Wednesday, based on the top planning official’s recommendation.
Coal from the planned mine is destined for export to steel works, not power plants. The UK has slashed its use of of coal for electricity by 95% in the last ten years, by lowering demand and scaling up renewable generation.
WSWS: Danish Social Democrats seek coalition with right-wing parties
East Asia and Oceania
Responsible Statecraft: House passes pro-Taiwan measures that are sure to look anti-China to Beijing
WSWS: At the behest of world capitalism, Chinese Communist Party opens China to COVID-19
A bit exaggeratory but it’s understandable to be disappointed; I am too.
WSWS: A glimpse into what Chinese workers think about COVID restrictions
Many workers have faced great difficulties as a result of the Zero-COVID policy. For temporary workers, who are mainly rural migrants, a day in quarantine means a day without pay. And those working on assembly lines are forced to stay on the job often without basic life and medical supplies.
However, food delivery workers, coal miners, workers on the assembly lines of Foxconn and many more understand that these COVID restrictions are necessary to prevent mass infections and deaths. The social media posts by workers are not calling for “freedom” from Zero-COVID, but for housing, proper food and measures to stop the spread of infections.
The hardships are not the result of the Zero-COVID policy itself. Rather, what is highlighted is the need for workers to be provided proper living and financial assistance from the government and employers. Workers should not have to choose between putting meals on the table and running the risk of being infected.
WSWS: Indian students and workers support December 10 rally to build international anti-war movement
Supporters of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) in India have received significant support from workers and students in their campaign to build the international online rally, “For a mass movement of youth and students to stop the war in Ukraine!” organized by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) on December 10.
WSWS: Anger among West Australian nurses who face joint Labor-union offensive
The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) leadership is desperately trying to defuse the anger of nurses and shut down their call for strikes, following the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission’s (WAIRC) threat last week to cancel the registration of the union.
Central Asia and the Middle East
TeleSUR: China Supports Palestinian People’s National Rights: Xi
Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Thursday that China firmly supports the Palestinian people’s just cause of restoring their legitimate national rights.
WSWS: Netanyahu strikes deal with fascistic Religious Zionism in bid to form Israeli government
Following the victory of his right-wing bloc in last month’s election, opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signed a series of deals with factions of the fascistic and racist Religious Zionism, now the third largest party in the 120-seat Knesset.
TeleSUR: Egypt Joins the BRICS New Development Bank
“Since 2016, the Bank has invested in multiple projects, including US$7.2 billion in India alone,” RT reported, recalling that Egypt expressed an interest in becoming an NDB member in July.
“BRICS is working to develop its own financial infrastructure, including a joint payment network, with some member states having already switched to trade in local currencies in order to reduce dependence on the U.S. dollar and euro,” it added.
TeleSUR: Sudan’s Framework Agreement Could Offer Way Out of Uncertainty
The signing of a framework agreement in Sudan could signal a way out of the country’s political uncertainty and insecurity, Volker Perthes, head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan, said on Wednesday.
TeleSUR: Over 80,000 Somalis Flee to Kenya Amid Severe Drought
WSWS: Weekly US influenza cases highest on record
TeleSUR: US Congress Passes Bill Protecting Same-Sex Marriage
WSWS: At online rally, railroad workers and their supporters discuss way forward after anti-strike law
“We know that a lot of people are thinking about what they should do,” Hall concluded. “There are those who believe that the time has come for a walkout in the railroad industry. Whatever happens, this is a decision which can only be made by workers themselves. Not the bureaucracy, not Congress.” He urged workers to “organize meetings and discussions with your coworkers, and decide what you are going to do.”
Monthly Review: Musk’s Neuralink kills 1,500 animals in research rush, faces Federal probe
Elon Musk’s medical device company Neuralink has killed around 1,500 animals, including more than 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys, in experiments since 2018 and is under U.S. federal investigation for potential animal welfare violation.
Mint Press News: Senate Candidate Diane Sare Reveals How She Ended Up on Ukraine’s Notorious “Info Terrorist” Hit List
Diane Sare ran for Senate this year in New York against Chuck Schumer and was very outspoken that the United States should not be funding and arming the proxy war in Ukraine. She didn’t know that would earn her a spot on the Ukrainian government’s list of “information terrorists.”
Responsible Statecraft: New spending bill squanders billions on dysfunctional weapons programs
The increase alone from last year is more than what some of the world’s biggest countries spend on their own defense budgets.
Responsible Statecraft: The B-21: another Air Force diva that can’t deliver?
Consistent with today’s trend to render all defense as performance art, the unveiling of the new Northrop Grumman B-21 “Raider” bomber at the Northrop plant in Palmdale on December 2 was designed with the care and production values of a Superbowl commercial. The blue backlighting, the sonorous music (One Day, by Caleb Etheridge) the shiny shroud strip-teased off the partly hidden aircraft by shadowy figures, the flyover by the bombers the B-21 will allegedly replace, were military-industrial showmanship at its best, giving us not a scintilla of worthwhile information about the plane. Fittingly, its primary selling point, according to its promoters, is “stealth” – a supposed ability to remain invisible to radar and other sensors. Given that earlier systems advertised as being cloaked from radar scrutiny, such as the F-22 and F-35 fighters, have turned out to be visible after all especially to decades-old low frequency radar systems, the prospects are not hopeful. We do however know that it has the most important characteristic of stealth: invisibility to the taxpayers.
TeleSUR: National Guards Activate as Lava Flow Nears Highway in Hawaii
Mauna Loa, the world’s largest volcano, is erupting for the first time since 1984.
TeleSUR: Bank of Canada Hikes Policy Interest Rate by 50 Basis Points
The Bank of Canada on Wednesday increased its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 4.25 percent.
Monthly Review: Cuba goes on a diplomatic tour in an increasingly multipolar World
During the tour of these countries, several new agreements were signed that pointed to a desire to help Cuba. From offers of setting up renewable energy power plants to more regular oil shipments and plans to modernize Cuban industries, it’s clear that Algeria, Russia, Turkey, and China do not want Cuba to fall under the weight of Washington’s sanctions regime. “It is obvious that sanctions have an effect on the fact that our relations remain below their true potential,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pointed out during a press conference with his Cuban counterpart in Ankara on November 23.
This 11-day tour ended in China, where perhaps the most challenging yet essential conversations were held. Under the weight of an intensified U.S. blockade and severe limitations to its foreign currency reserves, Cuba has been unable to service its debt with China. “There is enormous sensitivity in the Chinese leadership, particularly in President Xi Jinping,” commented Díaz-Canel afterward. “There is an express will in him, even with indications in official talks, that a solution must be found to all of Cuba’s problems, regardless of the problems with the debt.” Against the United States’ efforts to restrain Cuba, Díaz-Canel asserted how China is “betting on the development of the country based on the cooperation that they can give us."
TeleSUR: Cuba-France Agreement to Boost Internet on the Island
The project involves the installation of a submarine cable system between the French overseas department of Martinique and the province of Cienfuegos.
TeleSUR: Ecuadorian Unions Demand Better Wages and Jobs
TeleSUR: Peru: Pedro Castillo is Transferred to Maximum Security Prison
On Wednesday night, former President Pedro Castillo was transferred to the Special Operations Directorate (DIROES), a maximum security prison near Lima where he will be confined while awaiting trial.
TeleSUR: Chileans Monitor the Activity of the Villarrica Volcano
The National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin), which issued a yellow alert for the surrounding area in November, is permanently monitoring the evolution of its activity.
The Ukraine Proxy Conflict
Monthly Review: Merkel reveals West’s duplicity
By holding off on NATO membership, and later by pushing for the Minsk accords, Merkel believed she was buying Ukraine time so that it could better resist a Russian attack, just as Chamberlain believed he was buying the U.K. and France time to gather their strength against Hitler’s Germany … War, it seems, was the only option Russia’s opponents had ever considered.
WSWS: Ukraine threatened with total blackout
All of Ukraine could be plunged into a total blackout in the coming weeks, experts say, as Russian air assaults targeting energy infrastructure continue. Already, 50 percent of the country’s power system has been damaged or destroyed. This number does not take into account the impact of missile strikes this past Monday which Moscow ordered in response to Ukrainian drone attacks inside Russian territory.
That last sentence is disputable but whatever, the point is clear.
Retrospectives, History, and Theory
Jacobin: The Forgotten German Marxist Who Criticized Imperialism
German theorist Fritz Sternberg, who wrote on the rise of the Nazis, the Cold War, and decolonization, remains an underappreciated figure in Western Marxism. His work offers crucial insights about the centrality of internationalism to socialist politics.
Jacobin: How Capitalism Worms Its Way Into Every Aspect of Our Lives
Marxists have a powerful critique of exploitation in the capitalist workplace, but our analysis can’t stop there. A comprehensive analysis of capitalism, Nancy Fraser argues, must also account for the social relations that make the official economy possible.
Jacobin: Should We Abolish Prisons?
America’s prisons are grossly dehumanizing and unjust. The eminent political philosopher Tommie Shelby debates prison abolition and what kind of radical change justice demands.
Inside the Imperial Core
Responsible Statecraft: Diplomacy Watch: NATO infighting continues as Putin signals long war
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the war in Ukraine could be a “lengthy process,” signaling that Moscow is prepared to dig in for a long conflict.
As Mick Ryan of the Center for Strategic and International Studies noted on Twitter, the statement had three key audiences. The first is the Russian population, apparently to prepare it for future hardships associated with the conflict. The second audience is the Russian military, to assure that the Kremlin “won’t be cutting and running” before its war aims are achieved.
The third (and perhaps most important) target is the Western public. Putin is “again asking them if high inflation and high energy costs over the long term are worth their support to Ukraine,” according to Ryan.
Gray Zone: Dutch farmers battle technocratic forces driving them into oblivion
Dutch farmers are in open struggle against a cartel of multinational corporations, Davos-aligned parties and NGO’s seeking control over the global food supply. “They are sweeping the culture from the land,” a farmer laments.
While I still remain unconvinced of the argument that these are poor little meow meow farmers against the devils and demons of the Green Agenda ruled from on high by Greta Thunberg, it’s completely plausible and in fact almost certainly true that European neoliberal technocrats are fucking useless at their jobs and fucking up a green transition. If anybody wants to make any points for or against the article, I would appreciable it - but right now, my propagandometer is still warning me of dipshittery, and I’m not deactivating it yet.
Outside the Imperial Core
Monthly Review: Decolonization, multipolarity, and the demise of the Monroe Doctrine
December 3, 2023 will mark the 200th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine. It will also mark its obsolescence in the face of popular resistance and the Pink Tide of progressive governments in Latin America that have been elected over the past two and a half decades. The prevailing ideology of these left and left of center movements rejects the “Washington Consensus” and opts for a new consensus based on the decolonization of the political, economic, social and cultural spheres. This consensus is accompanied by encounters and conferences that advance liberatory traditions developed since the 1960’s as well as those deeply rooted in indigenous cultures. It is Washington’s failure to respect and adjust to this political and ideological process of transformation that precludes, at this time, a constructive and cooperative U.S. foreign policy towards the region.
Climate Change News: Which countries are ‘particularly vulnerable’ to climate change?
The European Union pushed to restrict loss and damage funds to “particularly vulnerable” nations, but the definition is still up for debate