Events


Globally


MEMO: A new order: What we should learn from COP27 and the G20 Summit

The COP27 and the G20 Summit took place at an important juncture. They occurred in tandem with important international developments: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lula’s election in Brazil, Xi’s third term, the US restrictions on semiconductor exports to China and the US midterm elections. As such, both the COP27 and G20 hint at the future of global order. While they confirm that there is still no end in sight for globalisation, they also signal that globalisation’s substance has been altered, and the global order is under reconstruction.

Meanwhile, some latent issues persist. For example, in an ideal world, trade and climate-related policies are supposed to go hand in hand. In reality, this is not always the case. Sometimes, trade policies conflict with climate-related policies. At other times, climate-related policies are merely a cover-up for countries' protectionist trade policies.

Moreover, developed countries continue their dominating narrative. From their perspective, the solutions for the problems faced by developing countries are still about aid or implementing reforms, not about addressing the international rules and order created by them that cause these problems.

Reuters: Global coal consumption to reach all-time high this year - IEA


Europe


Jacobin: Europe Is Recognizing Platform Employees as Real Workers

On Monday, the EU Parliament backed a directive granting employees of platforms like Uber labor and social security standards just like other workers. It’s time to stop tech firms using bogus self-employment to deny their employees’ rights.

WSWS: Two major central banks step up the interest rate war against the working class

The Bank of England and the European Central Bank (ECB) have made clear that the central target of their “fight inflation” campaign is the wages of the working class as they announced an increase in their base interest rate of 0.5 percentage points yesterday.

And both central banks indicated the interest rate hikes are going to continue for some time.

RT: Brussels agrees sanctions relief for some Russian businessmen – EUobserver

The European Union will provide sanctions relief to Russian businessmen in charge of fertilizer and chemicals companies, the EUobserver newspaper reported on Thursday, citing diplomatic sources.

TeleSUR: Putin at Council for Strategic Development & National Projects

Putin’s remarks came during a videoconference meeting of Russia’s Council for Strategic Development and National Projects, where he raised the U.S. stance on Europe, the economic crisis in Western Europe, the Ukraine conflict, and the West’s drive to destroy the Russian economy. 

According to the Russian President, the EU leadership has been weak towards the U.S., which has led to the region’s current economic woes. “Today, the EU’s main partner, the U.S., is pursuing policies leading directly to the deindustrialization of Europe.”

Putin said, “They even try to complain about that to their American overlord. Sometimes even with resentment, they ask ‘Why are you doing this to us?’ I want to ask: ‘What did you expect?’ What else happens to those who allow feet to be wiped on them?” 

Merco Press: Military will replace strikers in UK, starting with 750 ambulance drivers; daily bonus proposal for the forces

He added that, ”in the next few weeks we will be stepping in to fill vital public sector roles due to industrial action; whether it’s the splendid ceremonial events that we saw earlier this year, or the critical work of driving ambulances, we serve the nation“.

”So, a big thank you from me to those who will be away from home this Christmas, and especially to their families.”

Aw, how wholesome!

WSWS: German states strike mask requirements in public transportation

In Germany more than 100 people are dying daily from COVID-19, clinics are at capacity and a winter storm of coronavirus is brewing. In spite of this, German state governments are striking down the last protective measures against the unchecked spread of the virus.

WSWS: German military’s special forces unit has ties to far-right Reichsbürger terrorist network

Guardian: Danish government plans to scrap bank holiday to increase defence spending

Denmark’s new government, the country’s first left-right coalition since the 1970s, has got off to an unpopular start with the announcement that one of its earliest policy proposals is to scrap a bank holiday.

Euro News: Vote of no confidence topples Slovakia’s government

MPs welcomed the government’s collapse in the parliamentary chamber, erupting into applause when the results were read. Former prime minister and leader of the leftist opposition Voice - Social Democratic party Peter Pellegrini branding it “the best possible Christmas present for the people of Slovakia”. 


East Asia and Oceania


SCMP: China orders rural hospitals to brace for Covid-19 as millions expected to travel for Lunar New Year

Beijing has told rural hospitals to set up more fever clinics to brace for Lunar New Year as China struggles to treat a flood of Covid-19 cases following a U-turn from its zero-Covid policy.

Climate Change News: India’s sugarcane farmers struggle to cope with droughts and floods

India is the largest consumer and producer of sugar in the world. Sugarcane is a critical crop for the economy; it accounts for about 10% of the country’s agricultural output and the livelihoods of 50 million farmers and their dependents.

“It is no secret how important sugarcane is to India,” said Devinder Sharma, an independent food and agriculture expert. Further expansion of the sugar industry “needs to be discouraged,” said Sharma. “It is taking too much water.” The crop needs about 2,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of sugar.

Al Jazeera: Pacifist Japan unveils unprecedented $320bn military build-up

Japan has said it would begin a once-unthinkable $320bn military build-up that would arm it with missiles capable of striking China and ready it for a sustained conflict as regional tensions and Russia’s Ukraine invasion stoke war fears.

WSWS: Mass protests in Bangladesh against brutal cost of living increases

Tens of thousands of people protested in Dhaka on December 10 to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League-led government and to call for new elections over rising inflation, fuel increases and violent police attacks. The next general election is not officially due until the end of 2023. The demonstrations—part of a national series of “restore democracy” protests—were organised by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Climate Change News: Rich nations mobilise $15.5bn for Vietnam’s coal-to-clean transition

Half of the money is to come from governments, the Asian Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation. The rest will come from private investment co-ordinated by the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.

WSWS: More than 27,000 Sri Lankan postal workers hold national strike

Over 27,000 postal workers across Sri Lanka struck from Sunday evening to Monday midnight, crippling the national postal service that operates over 4,000 post offices. Strikers’ demands included the recruitment of officer cadres from qualified employees, increase monthly overtime to 240 hours, the provision of uniforms and bicycles to junior staff, and an end to the closure of sub-post offices.


Central Asia and the Middle East


TeleSUR: Erdogan Offers Syria-Türkiye-Russia Trilateral Meeting

On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested to Russian President Vladimir Putin for a trilateral meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and trilateral steps on security issues.

RT: Nine injured in roadside bomb blast in Türkiye

TeleSUR: Signing of Russia-Iran Space Cooperation Memorandum


Africa


TeleSUR: Floods in DR Congo Leave 140 Dead So Far

According to the latest count, flooding in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has left at least 140 people dead, 280 houses destroyed, and over 38,000 families affected since 2019.

Africa News: Senegal struggles to break dependence on imported rice

Africa News: CAR citizens react to departure of French troops

“When military forces arrive in CAR, they operate in support of the CAR armed forces. And when they think they achieved their objectives, their goals in the CAR, it is perfectly normal for them to leave and return home. We think that all other forces still supporting Central African Republic, such as the MINUSCA, Russian and Rwandan forces, might at some point need to leave our territory to respect the CAR’s state sovereignty and our army’s sovereignty”, said Ben Wilson Ngassan, spokesperson for G16 constitution protection civil society.

Earlier this year France withdrew the last of its troops from former colony Mali after the military brought in Russian paramilitaries to fight a jihadist insurgency.


North America


Jacobin: Train Engineers Just Ousted Their Union President for Supporting the Rail Deal

In the wake of the rail showdown, locomotive engineers have voted to boot their union president. It’s a stunning upset — and one that shows rank-and-file railworkers are still simmering at the contract that was forced on them.

Jacobin: Hundreds of Video Game Workers at Microsoft-Owned Studios Are Trying to Unionize

This month, around 300 workers at four Microsoft-owned video game studios across the US are voting on whether to unionize. Jacobin spoke to workers involved in the effort about their organizing and why they want a union.

TeleSUR: 3 Killed, Dozens Injured After Tornadoes Rip Through Louisiana

WSWS: More than 200 inmates in Louisiana prison system held beyond scheduled release date each month

Inside Climate News: Restoring Watersheds, and Hope, After New Mexico’s Record-Breaking Wildfires

Local nonprofits and a tribe that recovered from earlier blazes are critical allies for communities threatened by floods after the largest fire in state history.

TeleSUR: Mexico To Open Regular Flights to Cuba

Canadian Dimension: Trudeau hosts biodiversity summit while promising more support for mining industry


South America


TeleSUR: Death Toll From Cholera in Haiti Reaches 288

TeleSUR: Haiti Gets First Oral Vaccines to Fight Cholera Outbreak

TeleSUR: Venezuela and Russia Sign 11 Strategic Agreements

On Wednesday, Venezuelan Economy and Oil Minister Tarek El Aissami and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak signed 11 cooperation agreements during the 16th Meeting of the High Level Intergovernmental Commission (CIAN) held in Caracas.

TeleSUR: Brazil To Reestablish Relations With Venezuela From January

Monthly Review: U.S. tries Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, setting dangerous precedent

The United States has brought Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab to trial in a federal court in Miami, Florida following his illegal arrest and extradition in 2020. The defense attorneys argued, in court, that Saab is indeed a Venezuelan diplomat and as such the case must be dismissed. However, the defense team had a lot more to say about the U.S., the arrest, and the unilateral sanctions against the Venezuela.

Saab’s lawyers sought to establish his diplomatic immunity based on official Venezuelan documents, while the U.S. government refused to approve the documents and questioned their credibility.

Multipolarista: Peru coup: CIA agent turned US ambassador met with defense minister day before president overthrown

TeleSUR: Boluarte’s Repression Leaves 18 Peruvians Murdered So Far

TeleSUR: Peru: 18 Months in Prison Against Former President Castillo

TeleSUR: Minimum Wage in Colombia to Reach $242 Next Year - Petro


The Ukraine Proxy Conflict


TeleSUR: Ukraine Carries Out Most Severe Attack on Donetsk Since 2014

On Thursday, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) denounced that the Ukrainian army launched over 40 rockets from MLRS Grad against civilian areas of the city of Donetsk.

Iraqi News: Russia fires ‘massive’ missile barrage at Ukraine grid

A fresh barrage of deadly Russian strikes hit Ukraine on Friday, cutting water and electricity in major cities and piling pressure on the grid in sub-zero temperatures.

I’m not sure if it’s correct to say these were Russian missiles, given that they’re clearly out of missiles and have been since February 25th.

Mint Press News: Under Cover of War, Zelensky is Leading Ukraine’s Massive Privatization Drive

Although corporate media inundate us with stories of Russian aggression, far fewer people are aware that the Ukrainian government itself has been using the fog of war to move against certain sectors of its own population, settle scores, and attempt to revolutionize society.

These attempts have been led by President Volodymyr Zelensky himself, who, in recent months, has banned more than ten political parties (including the main opposition bloc), made trade unions illegal, outlawed Russian language, music and culture, and proclaimed his country open for business to Western investors.

Naked Capitalism: Hungary Asks the War Questions and Probes Merkel’s Minsk Deception


Analysis

Retrospectives, History, and Theory


Michael Roberts: Digital work and exploitation

John Michael Roberts (no relation) is Professor of Sociology and Communications at Brunel University London. In his new book, Digital, Class, Work: Before and During COVID-19, Roberts argues that the pandemic has altered and fundamentally changed many social practices in society. “Nowhere is this more apparent than with the relationship between digital technology, labour and work.” Roberts criticises those theorists who claim that this post-pandemic digital capitalism means that Marx’s theory of value and exploitation of labour is no longer relevant to the nature of class relations and oppression at work in modern societies.

Michael Roberts: Planning and the climate

The only way humanity has a chance of avoiding a climate disaster will be through a global plan based on common ownership of resources and technology that replaces the capitalist market system. In a new book by Scottish Marxist economists Paul Cockshott, Alin Cottrell, and Jan Philip Dapprich, entitled Economic Planning in an Age of Climate Crisis, the authors take up this issue.


The Left and the Right


Jacobin: The Impossible Escape From the European Union

Neoliberalism is embedded in the European Union’s DNA. But for the continent’s left, there are few good alternatives.


Inside the Imperial Core


Naked Capitalism: Will the Fallout from “Qatargate” (and now also “Moroccogate”) Splatter the European Commission?

Since erupting last weekend with police raids on MEPs’ homes and offices in the European parliament, the Qatargate scandal has done nothing but mushroom. What began as a criminal probe into current and former MEPs and parliamentary assistants implicated in a bribery ring aimed at burnishing the public image of the current World Cup host has widened significantly — not only in terms of the number of people involved but also the number of organizations and third countries, which now also include Morocco.


Outside the Imperial Core


Monthly Review: A mass event

Like a very aggressive tumor, lawfare has metastasized and threatens to kill Argentine democracy. The decision taken by a gang of miscreants disguised behind the deceitful solemnity of a judicial platform dealt a heavy blow to the democratic process because, in a rigged trial in which all the clauses of due process were flouted, the current Vice President of Argentina was convicted without any evidence and banished in perpetuity from national political life. Once again, proscription appears as the resource to which the ruling class and its pawns appeal to remove from the public scene the person who, without any doubt, is the most important political figure in the country.

Monthly Review: Open veins of Africa bleeding heavily

The ongoing plunder of Africa’s natural resources drained by capital flight is holding it back yet again. More African nations face protracted recessions amid mounting debt distress, rubbing salt into deep wounds from the past.

With much less foreign exchange, tax revenue, and policy space to face external shocks, many African governments believe they have little choice but to spend less, or borrow more in foreign currencies.

Naked Capitalism: US Heavy-Handedness Forges Russia-Iran-India Ties


Climate Change


Naked Capitalism: Arctic Report Card 2022: The Arctic Is Getting Rainier and Seasons Are Shifting, with Broad Disturbances for People, Ecosystems and Wildlife