Common Dreams: UK Nurses, Health Workers Stage Largest NHS Strike in Nation’s History

RT: UK to follow Russia out of human rights body – The Times

WSWS: Number of police officers in UK schools increases by 300 in one year

“Over-policed and under-protected: The road to Safer Schools,” a report by the Runnymede Trust think tank, reveals that there are 979 police officers in Britain’s schools.

WSWS: Germany drops all requirements to wear masks—but coronavirus remains

RT: Swiss firms planning return to Russia

Only 6% of large companies that have left Russia, though.

“Unsurprisingly, the list of countries from which Swiss companies have withdrawn in the last three years is headed by Russia… Even so, a few of the big companies in particular are already planning to begin or resume business activities in Russia,” the report stated, adding that “whether and when these plans will actually be implemented will depend on the further course of the Ukraine war.”

The report also highlighted that foreign companies working with Swiss firms have generally opposed the adoption of anti-Russian sanctions by Switzerland. According to the survey, around 40% of the polled companies felt negative reactions from their business partners because of their support for the international sanctions against Moscow.

People’s Daily: Cyprus' presidential election heads for runoff

Christodoulides, who ran as an independent, garnered 32.04 percent of the vote, and Mavroyiannis, who also ran as an independent and supported by the left wing AKEL party, garnered 29.61 percent of the vote, Chief Returning Officer Costas Constantinou announced after the counting of all votes on Sunday.

RT: NATO aspirant abandons neighbor – media

Having declared that Finland and Sweden would join NATO together, the Finnish government is now preparing to leave its neighbor behind, the daily Iltalehti reported on Monday, citing insider sources.

East Asia and Oceania

Climate Change News: China warns of more floods and heatwaves in 2023

China’s weather agency warned regional authorities to prepare for more extreme weather this year after record-breaking temperatures and a lengthy drought played havoc with the country’s power supplies and disrupted harvests last summer.

RT: India wants Russian LNG – Reuters

Russia’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer, Novatek, is poised to clinch a deal with India’s main gas distributor GAIL on long-term supplies, Reuters reported on Friday, citing industry sources.

RT: Russia ready to meet India’s oil demand – Rosneft

Russia is willing to meet India’s oil needs at the “market price,” Reuters reported on Monday, citing Igor Sechin, the head of energy giant Rosneft. New Delhi currently buys Russian oil at a discount due to Western sanctions.

RT: Japan joins price cap on Russian oil products

Reuters: North Korean balloon briefly spotted over South Korea, Seoul says

Central Asia and the Middle East

MEMO: UN warns that 6m people in Afghanistan face the risk of famine

MEMO: Pakistan bans Wikipedia for refusing to remove ‘blasphemous’ content

MEE: Iraq: Russia’s Lavrov in Baghdad for energy talks

Russian foreign minister head of a large delegation that includes ‘oil and gas companies and investors’, with Iraqi foreign ministry confirming ‘Iraq’s openness to all of its friends’

MEMO: Russia rescuers to fly to Syria and Turkiye after huge earthquake

MEMO: UN General Assembly holds minute of silence after deadly Turkiye earthquake

Africa News: At least 1200 dead from earthquake near Turkey, and Syria border

We’re at over 5000 deaths now.


Africa News: Burkina Faso: Thomas Sankara’s family absent at his burial

Burkinabe government had announced that the body of Burkina the nation’s revered revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara is to be buried alongside his 12 comrades, at the spot where in 1987 they were assassinated, the country’s ruling junta said last Friday.

The family of Sankara had expressed their wish to see the remains of their relative buried “elsewhere” other than the memorial site they tagged as “conflicting and controversial”.

Africa News: Ghana: Authorities brace up as Sahel war spills into Gulf of Guinea

Africa News: Kenya labor court rules that Facebook can be sued

Africa News: Pope Francis reflects on trip to DRC and South Sudan

Thourhout his stay, he celebrated Mass before thousands of Catholic Christians, met with aurhotiries, spoke to the youth and invited Congolese to forgive those who committed “inhuman violence” against them.

He also called for an end to war in the mineral-rich country. In eastern Congo armed groups that have been accused of fighting for influence, control of ore and therefore money.

Francis slammed once again a colonialist mentality that has prevailed for centuries: “… We have to get rid of the idea that Africa is to be exploited. Africa has its own life and in this the Congo is at a very high level. Speaking of exploitation, I have been really struck by the pain and the problems in the East, where there is a problem of war and exploitation.”

Jacobin: In South Africa and Elsewhere, Democracy Has to Deliver the Goods

In South Africa, popular disillusionment with the inequality of the postapartheid order runs so deep that support for authoritarianism is on the rise. It’s a striking reminder that democracy must deliver material gains for the masses to remain a vibrant force.

Gasp! A-authoritarianism?!

North America

Responsible Statecraft: Americans far less hawkish on North Korea and China than policy elites: poll

Two-thirds of respondents agreed that the U.S. should “engage in dialogue as much as possible to reduce tensions” with China, while 20 percent said Washington should “not restart official dialogue and instead spend more money on military build-up.” Support for talks focused on deescalation went up by five points since 2021, when Harris last asked the question.

Meanwhile, 68 percent of Americans polled told Harris that President Joe Biden should offer to hold direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, and 58 percent said the United States should offer diplomatic or economic incentives “in exchange for steps toward denuclearization.”

WSWS: Stronger than expected US jobs report for January evokes concerns on Wall Street

On Friday morning, the US Department of Labor reported that the economy added 517,000 new jobs in January, far above earlier projections of 187,000. Employment estimates for November were also revised upward by 34,000 and the estimate for December was revised upward by 37,000.

Common Dreams: ‘Only the Beginning’: Democrats' IRA Set to Create 100,000+ US Green Jobs

Common Dreams: New Analysis: 40% of U.S. Wildlife, Ecosystems Are Imperiled

StatNews: Patient’s race and method of dialysis are linked to higher risk of blood infection

Hispanic, Latino, and non-Hispanic Black Americans on dialysis for end-stage kidney disease have a higher risk of developing life-threatening bloodstream infections, a new report says.

And those racial and ethnic disparities are deepened by another risk factor: how the patient received hemodialysis. Going through a central venous catheter straight into major veins was linked to higher rates of infection than less invasive routes.

Overall, dialysis patients who lived in areas with higher rates of poverty, lower levels of educational attainment, and more crowded living conditions had disproportionately higher rates of these bloodstream infections. Those findings highlight well-documented inequities that Medicare is endeavoring to fix with a major experiment in how dialysis clinics are paid.

TeleSUR: Rise in Unaccompanied Migrant Children at U.S.-Mexico Border

South America

TeleSUR: Venezuela Reforests in Border Areas Affected by Illegal Mining

Inside Climate News: Study Documents a Halt to Deforestation in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest After Indigenous Communities Gain Title to Their Territories

TeleSUR: 80.74% Of Voters Cast Their Ballots in Ecuador’s Elections

TeleSUR: Government Decrees State of Emergency in Seven Regions of Peru

TeleSUR: More Arrests for Attacks Against Government Powers in Brazil

There are now 653 people charged before the courts in connection with the assault on the Three Powers Square.

The Ukraine Proxy Conflict

Monthly Review: Diplomatic cables prove top U.S. Officials knew they were crossing Russia’s red lines on NATO expansion

No fucking shit.

Valdai Club: Why the United States Seeks to Prolong the Conflict in Ukraine

RT: UK military running out of money and ammo – media

The UK does not have enough money to fulfill its military commitments after digging deep into its stockpiles to fund and equip the Ukrainian war effort, unnamed defense sources told Sky News on Monday.

Reuters: Russia’s Prigozhin challenges Ukraine’s Zelenskiy to aerial duel in cockpit video


Retrospectives, History, Theory, and Technology

Michael Roberts: Keynes and the left

RT: Microplastics found in human veins

“We were surprised to find them,” Professor Jeanette Rotchell said in a press release accompanying the paper’s publication in the journal PLoS One. “We already know microplastics are in blood…but it was not clear whether they could cross blood vessels into vascular tissue and this work would suggest they can do just that.”

The UK-based researchers found an average concentration of 15 particles of plastic per gram of vein tissue, similar to or higher than the levels found in lung and colon tissue, but observed that the shape and types of plastic found in the vascular tissue was markedly different from other tissue types.

Jacobin: The Battle to Control Microchip Supplies Will Define the Twenty-First Century

Semiconductors are as important for global capitalism today as access to energy resources. Only a handful of countries can produce the most advanced microchips, and control over their supply is becoming a key battleground in the US-China trade war.

Inside the Imperial Core

Naked Capitalism: Preparing for the Next Winter: Europe’s Gas Outlook for 2023

This analysis is by Bruegel. Methinks it’s rather optimistic for Europe, though honestly if hotter winters are the norm now, this could be more of a slow, creeping death, than some kind of 2-3 year collapse. This is actually be worse for the United States' ultimate goal of reindustrializaing through stealing Europe’s industry though. Essentially, either Europe suffers or America does. So, swings and roundabouts for the West as a whole.

We assess the demand reduction needed if the 90 percent storage target is to be achieved. Our assessment takes into account EU imports, exports to refill gas storage facilities in Ukraine and Moldova, the weather and the situation in power markets, where gas demand is highly dependent on non-gas energy sources. Assuming limited Russian exports continue, and weather conditions are typical, demand up to 1 October 2023 must remain 13 percent lower than the previous five-year average. The EU should therefore extend its demand-reduction target, which is currently set to expire on 31 March 2023.

Two variables will determine how easily the target can be met: 1) liquified natural gas (LNG) supply, and 2) the nature of demand reductions. Plans for rapid deployment of regasification units will alleviate concerns over LNG import infrastructure capacity. However, the EU will continue to compete internationally for LNG cargoes, and will remain vulnerable to global dynamics. Strong economic growth in China, for example, could further tighten markets.

Open Democracy: Paying for GP appointments won’t save the NHS. Just look at Ireland

The two-tier system praised by the British right is a crumbling deathtrap with long waits and bed shortages.

That isn’t the point. The point is to blow the current system up in the media so that everybody is talking about how bad it is, then change it to a private system, and then stop talking about it, even if it’s actually worse, and then they look back and go “See! Complaints are way down!” It’s also the coronavirus normalization strategy.

Outside the Imperial Core

Naked Capitalism: The West Makes Serbia an Offer It Can’t Refuse

Serbia has resisted various forms of pressure since NATO began its war against Russia in Ukraine and remains the only European country refusing to join in Western sanctions on Russia.

Washington and Brussels have apparently had enough and issued Belgrade an ultimatum in January. The exact contents of the proposal haven’t been made public, but statements from Serbian officials hint at the following:

Serbia must normalize relations (as opposed to full recognition) with Kosovo and accept its membership in international organizations like the UN, NATO and the Council of Europe. (NATO seized Kosovo from Serbia in 1999, following the bombing of the country. Most EU countries and the US support Kosovo independence, which was unilaterally declared in 2008. Serbia continues to view the region as part of its territory.)

In return Serbia would supposedly get some financial rewards and join the EU in 2030.

Should Belgrade refuse the ultimatum, it can expect the following: EU and US investment in the country evaporates; Serbia’s EU candidacy dies; A ban on lending by European banks, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank and the IMF; Reprisals on ethnic Serbs in NATO protectorates of Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina (violence flared up in such areas in Kosovo in the runup to the ultimatum); An increase in efforts to interfere in Serbia and install a “pro-Western” government; A reintroduction of visas; Sanctions; Seizure of assets; According to Belgrade-based political analyst Dusan Janjic, there would be “conflict management” and destabilization controlled by the US, after which Washington would impose a solution.

Vucic says that the Assembly in Belgrade needs to discuss the proposal and there is the possibility of a national referendum. Should the latter take place, it is likely Serbia will refuse.

Climate Change

Inside Climate News: Destroying ‘Forever Chemicals’ is a Technological Race that Could Become a Multibillion-dollar Industry