Reuters: Trump metal tariffs ruled in breach of global rules by WTO
The United States said it strongly rejected the “flawed” interpretation and conclusions of the panel. It could appeal the ruling, which would send it into a legal void because Washington has blocked appointments to the WTO Appellate Body, rendering it incapable of giving a judgment.
The American regime must be punished for its violations of the international rules-based order.
WSWS: Low levels of testing in Europe obscure rapid COVID-19 winter surge
Despite the near-total abandonment of testing across the EU, it is becoming clear that COVID-19 is surging across the continent. Alongside major surges of the flu and other respiratory viruses, this latest surge of COVID-19 threatens European hospital systems with another winter of overcrowding, horrendous working conditions, triaged care and mass death.
Euro News: LGBTQ history museum in St Petersburg is shut down
RT: Russia slaps duty on imports from ‘unfriendly’ countries
Moscow has introduced a levy of 35% on goods imported from nations violating Russia’s economic interests, according to a resolution published by the Ministry of Industry and Trade late on Friday.
The measure, which is valid until December 31, 2023, targets personal care products and detergent imported from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Poland including shampoo, hair products, toothpaste, shaving creams and deodorants.
The 35% tax also applies to civilian weapons and ammunition, including smoothbore single-barrel firearms, sporting and hunting rifles, equipment for launching rescue flares, guns firing blank cartridges, as well as bullets for pneumatic weapons.
Al Jazeera: Belarus offers Ukraine grain transit without conditions: UN
Climate Change News: Germany considers €1 billion in support for 10 fossil fuel projects overseas
TeleSUR: France Registers an Increase in COVID-19 Incidence Rate
With 600 cases of COVID-19 per 100 000 population, the country more than doubles the incidence rate of the disease compared to last November.
TeleSUR: Swedish PM Urges Energy Restraint to Prevent Power Cuts
Swedish households may occasionally have to go without electricity, the government said on Friday, urging the general public to use electricity sparingly.
East Asia and Oceania
SCMP: China pushes to boost role of yuan in global energy markets as Xi Jinping wraps up Saudi Arabia visit
China pledged to step up development aid and ramped up its efforts to promote the use of the Chinese yuan in energy markets as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his trip to Saudi Arabia.
RT: China buying Russian oil above price cap – Bloomberg
SCMP: China, Mongolia aim to stop spread of shared desert that threatens mining and agriculture on both sides
Climate Change News: AIIB finds gas plant in Bangladesh compatible with Paris goals
WSWS: Thousands of workers protest against privatisation in Sri Lanka
Around 3,000 workers from Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) protested in central Colombo on Thursday against privatisation. Hundreds of bank workers also demonstrated in the capital, as well as hundreds of state sector workers in provincial cities including as Matara, Kalutara, Badulla and Negombo, against the government’s ruthless austerity measures.
TeleSUR: 4th COVID Wave in Australia: New Cases Plateau, Deaths Rise
WSWS: Sick children turned away as crisis deepens in Australian hospitals
WSWS: South Korean truckers’ union calls off strike following sham vote
The purpose of the vote was not to gauge workers feelings on continuing the strike, but to provide a threadbare cover for shutting it down. It was announced on Thursday and took place between 9 a.m. and noon on Friday, leaving drivers little time to discuss with one another or other workers how to proceed.
As a result, only 3,575 out of 26,144 union members participated. Of those taking part, 2,211 voted to end the walk-out. In other words, the union called off the strike with only 8.46 percent of the membership giving its approval—a complete and anti-democratic farce.
Central Asia and the Middle East
Oil Price: Turkey’s Oil Tanker Traffic Jam Is Growing
Part of the worry is that Western insurers are saying they are unable to provide the documents that Turkey is requesting, because it could expose them to sanctions should it be found out later that the oil cargo that they are carrying were sold at prices that went beyond the G7’s $60 price cap.
TeleSUR: 15 Oil Vessels Blocked Amid EU Sanctions on Russia
FT: Gulf Arab states draw closer to China as Xi visits Riyadh
Both China and Saudi Arabia hailed the meetings as a new chapter in a relationship in which Beijing has grown into the kingdom’s largest trading partner, and Riyadh as China’s biggest oil provider. The two sides signed a comprehensive strategic agreement and more than two dozen deals, including in construction and a broadband contract with China’s Huawei.
Al Jazeera: US warns of expanding Iran, Russia defence ‘partnership’
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby cited US intelligence assessments for the allegations, saying Russia was offering Iran “an unprecedented level of military and technical support that is transforming their relationship into a full-fledged defense partnership”.
TeleSUR: 20 Mln Pakistanis Rely on Underfunded Floods Aid: UN
To date, only 23 percent of the 816-million-U.S. dollar floods response plan has been received, said OCHA.
That amount of money was already a fraction of what’s needed, and they can’t even give Pakistan that amount? My god. Death to America.
Al Jazeera: Biden to back African Union spot in G20 at US-Africa summit
Biden will make the announcement during a three-day US-Africa Summit that opens on Tuesday in Washington, DC, where the United States will commit to the continent after inroads by China and Russia.
Wow, I bet those leaders won’t figure out why you’re doing that now, after years of not doing it!
Reuters: U.S. bid for battery metals has Africa blind spot
Iraqi News: Canada to hasten permitting for critical minerals mines
The 58-page document notes that Canada is home to vast untapped deposits of lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, copper and rare earth elements.
But under a current framework, it adds, it can take from five to 25 years to get new mines approved and operational.
Guardian: Keystone pipeline leaks 14,000 barrels of oil into creek in biggest spill yet
Jacobin: In Just One Year, Starbucks Workers Have Won 267 Union Elections
A year ago today, Starbucks workers in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize. Since then the campaign has exploded nationwide, with an impressive 267 Starbucks locations now unionized.
TeleSUR: Bird Flu Outbreak in LATAM Prompts FAO Into Action
TeleSUR: Nicaragua Keen to Export Coffee to China
TeleSUR: Nicaragua Highlights the Historical Importance of Hugo Chavez
Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega highlighted the importance of the legacy of the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution Hugo Chavez on the 10th anniversary of his last speech.
TeleSUR: Brazil: President-Elect Lula Da Silva Announces Five Ministers
Seem alright to me.
Iraqi News: Peru’s new leader urges calm as protests grow
Police on Thursday fired tear gas and clashed with hundreds of protesters who demanded Castillo’s release.
Demonstrations continued on Friday, with protesters blocking roads with rocks, logs, and burning tires as they called for early elections.
TeleSUR: Social Movements Demand the Holding of Elections in Peru
“On Wednesday, far-right elites carried out a racist and classist strategy aimed at breaking the popular will and removing Castillo from the presidency,” New Peru militant Alvites said.
The Ukraine Proxy Conflict
RT: Putin talks Ukraine, Merkel and nuclear war
The deception about Minsk now raises a “question of trust,” said Putin, noting that it is currently “almost at zero.” The real question now is whether negotiations about anything with anyone are even possible, and what would guarantee any eventual deal, he added. “In the end, there will have to be talks. We are ready for them, I have said that many times. But it does make us think, who we’re dealing with.”
Asked about his earlier statement that the military operation might be a “long process,” Putin explained that he was actually referring to the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine. “The special military operation is proceeding apace, everything is stable, there are no questions or problems with it today,” he said. Resolving the whole situation will “probably not be easy and will take some time, but one way or another, all participants in this process will have to agree with the realities that are taking shape on the ground.”
The US has long had a doctrine of a “disarming” attack against command and control systems, for which they developed cruise missiles the Soviet Union lacked, Putin said. Now Russia has hypersonic missiles that are “more modern and even more effective,” so “perhaps we should think about adopting the developments and ideas of our American partners when it comes to ensuring security.”
EU politicians should “stop talking about their love for the African peoples and start helping these countries,” Putin said. “If the people you spoke about knew where Africa was and what condition the peoples of Africa were in, they would not interfere with the supply of Russian food and fertilizers to the African continent, on which the harvest in African countries ultimately depends and the salvation of hundreds of thousands of people in Africa from starvation.”
Retrospectives, History, and Theory
Naked Capitalism: Estimating the True Cost of War: The Conflict in Eastern Ukraine (2014-2019)
Estimating the economic impact of a war is a daunting task. Conventional indicators like casualties, infrastructure damages, and the effects on GDP provide useful benchmarks, but they fail to capture the complex impact of wars. This column highlights a new method for estimating this impact by using a preference-based approach as revealed by people’s mobility patterns. A case study of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine between 2014 and 2019 shows a large lower-bound welfare loss for Donetsk residents, equivalent to between 27.72% and 39.74% of income loss for a duration of ten years.
Inside the Imperial Core
Responsible Statecraft: When will the US learn that sanctions don’t solve its problems?
The suffering is the point.
Outside the Imperial Core
Mint Press News: Xi’s Visit and the Future of the Middle East: What Does China Want from the Arabs
… since these analyses are often shaped by Western interests, they tend to be selective in reading the larger context. If one is to rely exclusively or heavily on the Western understanding of the massive geopolitical changes around the world, one is sure to be misled. Western media wants us to believe that the strong political stances taken by Arab countries – neutrality in the case of war, growing closeness to China and Russia, lowering oil output, etc – are done solely to ‘send a message’ to Washington, or to punish the West for intervening in Arab affairs.
Seen through a wider lens, however, these assumptions are either half-truths or entirely fabricated. For example, the OPEC+ decision to lower oil output on October 5 was the only reasonable strategy to apply when the global market’s demand for energy is low. Additionally, Arab neutrality is an equally reasonable approach considering that Washington and its Western allies are not the only global forces that matter to the Arabs. It is equally untrue that the Middle East’s growing affinity with Asia is borne out of recent dramatic events, but a process that began nearly two decades ago, specifically a year following the US invasion of Iraq.
Naked Capitalism: The Central Bank of Nigeria Just Gave a Whole New Meaning to the Term “Financial Repression”
Now, the CBN appears to have devised a whole new brand of financial repression (or oppression), one not aimed at rentiers or savers but at the entire population. The goal is not to gradually liquidate government debt but to coerce people into using less cash and begin adopting digital means of payment — preferably the central bank’s own digital currency. As with India’s demonetisation of late 2016, the consequences are likely to be disastrous on both a micro and macro level. Like India, Nigeria is an economy that is predominantly cash based. According to the 2022 edition of the FIS Global Payments Report, physical cash accounted for 63% of point-of-sale (POS) transactions — compared to an average of 44% across the Middle East and Africa.