Events


Globally


Oil Price: Oil Prices Continue To Climb As China Reopens

TeleSUR: Guterres Updates UN Progress on Gender Parity

Gender parity was reached among the UN’s senior leadership for the first time in 2020, two years ahead of the target date, along with parity reached among heads and deputy heads of peace operations, as well as parity among the 130 UN resident coordinators, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

RT: West facing ‘existential choice’ – Moscow

Western countries are standing at a crossroads and must decide whether they want to continue pursuing selfish policies that address only their own security, or recognize that this is a dead-end track, the vice speaker of upper chamber of the Russian parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, said on Tuesday.

Writing on Telegram, Kosachev, who also chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, said that “sooner or later, the West will have to make an existential choice” between catering for only its own interests, “or admitting that this suicidal strategy has exhausted itself.”

The senator noted that a return to the principle of “indivisibility of security architecture” was the only path forward. Kosachev explained that this means a “deliberate refusal to ensure one’s own security at the expense” of other countries, adding that it serves “as a cornerstone” for all complex diplomatic arrangements.


Europe


Reuters: EU meets to try to break gas price cap impasse

FT: European wind turbine manufacturers face tough 2023

Despite the push by governments in the EU and US to expand renewable energy, major European manufacturers including Siemens Gamesa, Vestas and Nordex are running at a loss, with a return to profitability not expected soon.

RT: EU nations lodge formal protest over Macron comment – Reuters

France is facing a backlash from a group of fellow EU member states over President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal that NATO should offer Moscow security guarantees, if and when the parties to the ongoing Ukraine conflict sit down for peace talks. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Slovakia have lodged a formal protest against Macron’s suggestion, according to Reuters.

Macron literally offering Russia below the bare minimum required for negotiations and the chihuahuas in eastern Europe come out and snarl at him for being a Putin puppet.

WSWS: UK unions try to prevent National Health Service strikes by agreeing sell-out deals with government

Talks between the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Conservative government over the upcoming strike by up to 100,000 nurses collapsed Monday evening. This means that two 24-hour National Health Service (NHS) strikes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on December 15 and 20 are still going ahead.

TeleSUR: Sweden Sees Deadliest Year With 60 Deaths in Shootings

WSWS: Scope of right-wing terrorist network in Germany comes into focus

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution (as Germany’s domestic secret service is called) numbers the supporters of the monarchist and anti-democratic Reichsbürger at 23,000 alone, 2,000 more than a year ago. It considers 10 percent to be prepared to use violence.


East Asia and Oceania


RT: China vows response to latest US sanctions

The US has no right to impose unwarranted sanctions against other countries and is in no position to act as a ‘world policeman.’ We urge the US to withdraw its so-called sanctions immediately.

RT: China sues US over chip ban

China has filed a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over chip export curbs recently imposed by the US, China’s Commerce Ministry said on Monday.

Naked Capitalism: Japan and the Netherlands Join US Efforts to Cut Off China from Advanced Chips

Bloomberg News reported on Monday that Japan and the Netherlands have agreed in principle to join the US in tightening controls over the export of advanced chip-making machinery to China.

In response China launched a suit at the World Trade Organization over the US measures. The complaint is unlikely to go anywhere since Washington has blocked appointments to the WTO’s top ruling body on trade disputes.

RT: China restricts micro-chip exports, including to Russia – Kommersant

Purchases of consumer electronics made through the ‘parallel import’ scheme have so far been sufficient to meet Russian demand, according to Kommersant. But some companies ran pilot programs to explore the possibility of using Chinese chips instead of those from the West. Loongson was considered among the options, the Kommersant source stated.

Reuters: China readying $143 billion package for its chip firms in face of U.S. curbs

China is working on a more than 1 trillion yuan ($143 billion) support package for its semiconductor industry, three sources said, in a major step towards self sufficiency in chips and to counter U.S. moves aimed at slowing its technological advances.

TeleSUR: China Moves to Boost Trade as COVID-19 Measures Adjusted

Cities in coastal regions are holding foreign investment promotional activities or arranging charter planes to send business delegations to meet with overseas customers or investors.

ANN: China achieves bumper grain harvest in 2022

Guardian: Chinese and Indian troops in fresh skirmish at Himalayan border

Chinese and Indian troops have clashed in a disputed Himalayan border region for the first time in more than two years, with reports of dozens injured.

WSWS: Australian strike wave continues despite union suppression

Data released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal that 28,100 working days were lost to industrial action in the September quarter, involving 22,200 workers in 70 separate disputes. Already, in the first three quarters of 2022, 175,800 working days have been lost to strikes, more than in any entire year since 2012.


Central Asia and the Middle East


MEMO: Erdogan demands Putin clear Kurdish militias from Syria border region

In a phone call yesterday, Erdogan told Putin that it is “important to clear the [Kurdish fighters] from the border to a depth of at least 30 kilometres” and also “stated this was a priority”, according to the Turkish presidential office.

MEMO: Iraq recovers $7.9bn in surplus war reparation from Kuwait

The headline should be “million”, not “billion”.

Iraq has received $7.9 million in surplus war reparation paid to Kuwait, through a UN commission, due to Baghdad’s invasion and occupation of its Gulf neighbour in 1990, the Central Bank of Iraq said in a statement.


Africa


Africa News: Blinken stresses partnerships to African innovators

President Joe Biden is set to play host to dozens of African leaders in Washington this week as the White House looks to narrow a gaping trust gap with Africa - one that has grown wider over years of frustration about America’s commitment to the continent.

TeleSUR: Zimbabwe’s Power Shortages to Ease in 2023

Zimbabweans will see a vast improvement in electricity supplies in 2023 as the government removes barriers to power generation investments in the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said.

MEMO: Egypt making ‘huge fortune’ selling Israeli gas to Europe, media says

Israeli media outlets have criticised the “huge fortune” accumulated by Egypt from exporting Israeli natural gas to Europe at a price that is at least three times higher than the price it pays the occupation state.


North America


Naked Capitalism: On Bicentennial of US-Mexico Diplomatic Relations, Former US Ambassador to Mexico Accuses AMLO of “Goading” Washington

WSWS: US COVID-19 policy: “Social murder” of older Americans

The third year of the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to an end, leaving a horrifying death toll in its wake. Despite US President Joe Biden’s declaration this year that “the pandemic is over,” COVID-19 killed more than 250,000 Americans in 2022, a figure multiple times higher than the US battlefield deaths in any single year of World War I or World War II. And with cases and hospitalizations surging, the death toll will only rise.

Of this year’s US victims of COVID-19, three-quarters, or 185,436 people, were over the age of 65. In the last week reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this figure rose to 92 percent.

WSWS: Railroad workers visit Baltimore Amazon fulfillment center workers to explain their struggle and appeal for support

On Sunday, a contingent of CSX rail workers and supporters of the Rail Workers Rank-and-File Committee (RWRFC) visited Amazon fulfillment centers in the Baltimore area to discuss with Amazon workers the issues at stake in the rail struggle and the significance of Congress’s unprecedented move last month to impose a contract.

Common Dreams: ‘Tragedy Unfolding’ as Cleanup of Largest-Ever Keystone Pipeline Oil Spill Continues

Around 600,000 gallons of crude tar sands oil spewed Wednesday from the pipeline into a northern Kansas creek that’s part of a watershed providing drinking water for 800,000 people.

COmmon Dreams: Calls to ‘Stop Building New Oil Pipelines’ Grow as Data Shows Severity of Keystone Leaks


South America


Guardian: Bolsonaro supporters try to storm police HQ in ‘January 6-style’ rampage

Fanatical supporters of Brazil’s outgoing president, Jair Bolsonaro, have torched cars and buses and tried to storm the federal police headquarters in the country’s capital in what one commentator called a botched attempt to spark a January 6-style turmoil.

TeleSUR: Colombia-Venezuela Border Will Fully Reopen as of January

MercoPress: Argentina and three other countries take diplomatic turn and ask for Castillo’s restitution in Peru

The governments of Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Bolivia have changed their position regarding the political crisis in Peru, which worsened in the last days after the removal of former president Pedro Castillo from office by the Congress.

The four countries have signed a document urging Peru to honor the results of their presidential elections and therefore reinstate the deposed Castillo as President. The signatories also underlined that the impeached head of state had been a “victim of undemocratic harassment.”

TeleSUR: Police Repression Leaves 7 Peruvians Dead

TeleSUR: Chilean Politicians Agree To Initiate a New Constituent Process


The Ukraine Proxy Conflict


Reuters: U.S. sends first shipment of power gear to aid Ukraine

The first tranche was power equipment worth about $13 million, one of the officials said. Another source familiar with the matter said two more planeloads of equipment would leave from the United States this week.

What a great use of America’s remaining power equipment in a country where the electrical grid is ageing and will start to run down within the next decade or two without expensive infrastructure projects.

Reuters: Zelenskiy asks G7 to supply Ukraine natural gas, long-range weapons

Monthly Review: Cluster bombs: Biden considers sending banned weapons to Ukraine

CNN reports that the Biden administration is considering adding cluster bombs to the mass of weapons it is pouring into Ukraine. The production and use of cluster bombs is prohibited under international law.


Analysis


Inside the Imperial Core


Jacobin: Italy’s Crisis Is Rooted in a Decades-Long Neoliberal Offensive

This fall’s Italian elections saw voters punish the incumbent parties of government yet again. But behind the upheaval in the party system is a narrowing of real political choice, as working-class interests struggle to find electoral expression.

Counterpunch: Dubai: An Invulnerable Financial Fortress on the Sand?


Outside the Imperial Core


Developing Economics: Agricultural production, sectoral imbalances and inflation in Albania: A Kaleckian view

The current remarkable surge in inflation is considered to be a nearly global phenomena (Reinhart and Lucker 2022), affecting both developed and developing nations. While there may be common drivers of inflation, such as factors associated with the Covid-19 pandemic followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there are considerable variations in the causes of it, especially with reference to developing countries, including Albania. Drawing on Kalecki’s (1976) Essays on Developing Economies, I argue that there are also domestic factors attributed to the increase in inflation that resides in the structural sectoral imbalances of the Albanian economy.