Common Draems: Corbyn Rebukes Starmer for Barring Him From Running With UK Labour Party

“Keir Starmer’s statement about my future is a flagrant attack on the democratic rights of Islington North Labour Party members. It is up to them—not party leaders—to decide who their candidate should be,” he argued. “Any attempt to block my candidacy is a denial of due process, and should be opposed by anybody who believes in the value of democracy.”

“I am proud to represent the labor movement in Parliament through my constituency,” he continued. “I am focused on standing up for workers on the picket line, the marginalized, and all those worried about their futures. That is what I’ll continue to do. I suggest the Labour Party does the same.”

Not the most powerful statement of all time. He’s too kind for his own good.

TeleSUR: Number of Days Lost to Strikes in UK Highest Since 1989: ONS

TeleSUR: China Remains Germany’s Most Important Trading Partner in 2022

I’m sure that’s a big “problem” that the Greens can “fix”. Will Scholz grow a backbone this time? He did go to China a few months ago, after all.

TeleSUR: Lufthansa System Failure Causes Massive Travel Chaos

German flag carrier Lufthansa’s information technology (IT) systems were largely down on Wednesday, affecting thousands of passenger flights. According to the company, the outage was triggered by damage to fiber optic cables caused by construction work on a railroad line in Frankfurt.

WSWS: Ford slashes another 3,800 jobs across Europe, including 2,300 in Germany

East Asia and Oceania

WSWS: Thousands of people lose everything in New Zealand floods

Four days after ex-Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle hit New Zealand, it is clear that the storm has caused unprecedented devastation across much of the North Island, affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

WSWS: Two workers killed in protest at Indonesian nickel smelter

Central Asia and the Middle East

MEE: Turkey earthquake: JPMorgan estimates direct damage at $25bn

MEE: Turkey earthquake: World Bank estimated making homes safe would cost $465bn

MEE: Syria earthquake: ‘Inflection point’ for normalisation with Bashar al-Assad

From Jordan to the UAE, efforts to reestablish ties with Syria are accelerating in the aftermath of two deadly earthquakes

The Lion of Damascus will never fall.

Anti War: Will the New Peace Deal Finally End the Conflict in Yemen?

For anyone following the conflict in Yemen, the news about a new peace being made will sound like a broken record, but there is genuine optimism about the truce that has been hashed out over the last month in Yemen. At the end of December last year, I wrote an article about an Omani delegation landing in Sanaa that engaged in direct negotiations with the Houthis. The Houthis had previously withdrawn from a peace deal that was brokered in April 2022 and lasted half a year. The Houthis claim to have withdrawn from the peace deal because the GGC-led coalition didn’t fulfill their promise to open the Hodeida port, Sanaa Airport, or reinstate payments to Yemen’s civil servants who have not been paid since 2014.


Africa News: 8,468 perish trying to reach Europe

More than 8,400 Europe-bound migrants perished at sea while attempting to cross the Mediterranean over the past four years, a charity said Tuesday.

Africa News: Israeli firm sought to influence elections across the world, mostly in Africa

Africa News: UN raises alarm over surge in migration from Horn of Africa

Monthly Review: Communist Party of Swaziland continues campaign to boycott ‘farcical’ elections despite arrests and torture

TeleSUR: Equatorial Guinea Responds to Marburg Virus Outbreak​​​​​​

Africa News: Opposition leader detained as Senegal tensions rise

Africa News: Nigerian bakeries shut down unable to afford flour

“Before the start of the conflict in Ukraine, which started in February of last year (2022, Ed.), flour was going for around N15,000 (33$) but today is at N31,000 (68$) that marks an increase of about 136%. This is usually unstable for any business to survive. However, the government has been able to help provide, however you have to fix your prices to accommodate this increase, and this doesn’t only affect flour, it affects sugar, it affects flavours, if affects the price of diesel, it affects the price of electricity. So, the cost of production has generally gone up”, said bakery manager, Tolulope Phillips.

Africa News: Nigeria’s currency swap: Leader pushes back against criticism and challenges

Africa News: Tanzania bans children’s books on sex education for violating cultural norm

The Tanzanian government has banned from schools several children’s books on sex education, accused of contravening “cultural and moral standards” in this East African country where homosexuality is criminalized.

“We are banning these books from schools and other educational structures because they are contrary to cultural and moral standards,” Education Minister Adolf Mkenda told reporters on Monday from the capital Dodoma.

Among the books banned is “Diary of a Wimp: Greg Heffley’s Logbook,” a series of American graphic novels that have sold millions of copies worldwide.

Hang on, what?

In Tanzania, homosexuality is punishable by a minimum sentence of 30 years to life imprisonment.

North America

Common Dreams: Half of Americans Think National News Media Mislead, Misinform the Public

Key findings from the latest survey include that 53% of about 5,600 Americans across political affiliations have an unfavorable view of the U.S. news media overall, compared with just 26% who hold a favorable view. In line with previous polling, younger adults have less favorable views.

I think I said this about a similar poll a while ago, but again, this doesn’t actually matter so long as there’s no real alternative. If you’re the average person, you’ll get your news from the capitalists one way or another, and you’ll either believe it and go on your merry way thinking the weather balloons are out to get you, or you won’t - BUT you won’t do anything about it. Maybe if you’re particularly enterprising, you’ll go off to Breitbart or someplace that advertises themselves as anti-establishment and plays to the frothing fear, xenophobia, and jingoism of Americans, so it won’t be constructive. The media environment is a complete monopoly, and they only let other outlets with vaguely differing opinions in to the mainstream when there’s no threat from them.

People’s Daily: Balloon incident much paranoia about nothing

MoA: After Ten Days Of Panicky Hype The Weather Balloon Nonsense Is Finally Buried

I wouldn’t be so sure.

RT: ‘Falling tail’ issue grounds entire fleet of US Air Force tankers

The United States Air Force has grounded hundreds of its decades-old KC-135 tankers, over concerns that a critical flaw could lead to their tails becoming separated from the fuselage mid-flight. Inspections have revealed that two dozen aircraft have so far been found to be affected by the fault.

Washington ordered a widespread inspection of the fleet of tankers on Tuesday for a “non-conforming part in the vertical tail assembly”. The part pins an aircraft’s tail fin – its vertical stabilizer – to the rest of the fuselage.

The back fell off. That’s not very typical, I’ll make that point.

Jacobin: Tesla Workers Are Unionizing in the Same Spirit as Starbucks and Amazon Workers

Common Dreams: ‘The Bird Is Not the Only Sick Company’: Tesla Recalls 362K Self-Driving Cars Over Crash Risk

People’s Daily: Biden undergoes annual physical exam

In a summary, White House physician Kevin O’Connor wrote that Biden “remains a healthy, vigorous 80-year-old male” fit to execute his duties.

“See, man! I still got it! We’re going all the way to the election in 2 years, where I’ll be running against that McCain fella!

Inside Climate News: Lake Powell Drops to a New Record Low as Feds Scramble to Prop it Up

Water levels fell to 3,522.16 feet above sea level, just below the previous record set in April 2022. The reservoir is currently about 22 percent full, and is expected to keep declining until around May, when mountain snowmelt rushes into the streams that flow downstream to Powell.

South America

TeleSUR: Presidents of Venezuela and Colombia Sign Trade Aggrement

TeleSUR: Chile Reports First Sea Lion Infected With Avian Influenza

Probably not good.

The Ukraine Proxy Conflict

Monthly Review: With a 12% decrease, less Americans support aid for Ukraine: Poll

48% support the United States giving arms to Ukraine, 29% oppose it, and 22% are neither in favor nor opposed, as per the poll. In May 2022, less than three months into the war, 60% of U.S. adults supported sending weapons to Ukraine, it further showed.

MoA: Media Bullshit About Ugledar

In which it is argued that Ugledar was a diversionary attack to tie up Ukrainian forces so Russia could advance elsewhere. I mean, honestly, it’s impossible to prove whether any attack in a war like this is genuine or just a diversion and trying to assert these things just gets very cope-y, especially in the weeks and months after (versus looking back on it years later with the almighty power of hindsight and knowing what is coming in our future). So I don’t even try and argue about it anymore.

What is indisputably true is that Russia prodding at Ugledar has drawn Ukrainian forces to the area, which necessarily means that other areas of the front have been weakened, while Russian advances around Ugledar has slowed to a characteristic crawl. Whether this was the intent, only the Russian command knows.


Retrospectives, History, Theory, and Technology

Geopolitical Economy: Inside Latin America’s new currency plan, with Ecuador’s presidential candidate Andrés Arauz

Gray Zone: How the US crushed the struggle for a Somali nation

Current Affairs: The Apocalyptic Delusions of the Silicon Valley Elite

The Left and the Right

Current Affairs: Democratic Voters Want To Get Rid of Biden—But Will The Party Let Them?

No. Next question.

Inside the Imperial Core

Jacobin: Nicola Sturgeon Left Scotland’s Independence Movement Weaker

I have no real opinion on this as I don’t know enough about it, just throwing this out there and seeing if anybody wants to talk about it in the thread.

Naked Capitalism: Sturgeon’s Departure Doesn’t Solve Scotland’s Problems

Outside the Imperial Core

People’s Daily: BRICS summit to discuss restructuring global political, economic architecture: S. African official

Valdai Club: Expanding Maritime Trade Between Iran and Russia in the Caspian Sea: Capacities and Challenges

Executive summary: In his article, Dr. Vali Kaleji, a Tehran-based expert on Central Asia and Caucasian Studies, postulates that the year 2022 was a “turning point” in the development of maritime trade between Iran and Russia in the Caspian Sea. Although it was not limited to bilateral trade between the two countries, and was an important part of the “Preferential Trade Agreement” (PTA) between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), “International North–South Transport Corridor” (INSTC), and the economic and commercial relations of Russia, Iran and India in framework of “multimodal transportation” by sea, road and rail. However, maritime trade between Iran and Russia in the Caspian Sea suffers six main challenges that need to be solved. In this case, we can hope that the share of maritime trade in the economic relations between Iran and Russia, Iran and the EAEU, and INSTC will increase significantly and sustainably.

Naked Capitalism: Iran And Russia Strengthen Military Ties With New Weapons Deals


Perhaps informed readers will deem otherwise, but the article posted below struck me as an an evenhanded account, by Western standards, of a step forward in the relationship between Iran and Russia. Iran is reported to be en route to buying Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets. The article points out that the collapse of the JCPOA ended restrictions on Tehran’s ability to buy conventional weapons as of 2020. Well done, teams Trump and Biden!

The story does note that the Sukhoi Su-35s will be comparatively pricey for Iran, even before getting to the fact that Iran already has both Western and Russian-make fighters, which no doubt complicates training and maintenance. It also treats allegations that Iran is swapping drone for fighters as unproven. However, it does repeat a claim from a source at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs that Iran won’t get that many fighters. Supposedly, Russia has limited production capacity because sanctions have limited access to “technology” necessary for some parts. Perhaps I have become overly counter-suggestible, but this strikes me as the cleaned-up version of Ursula von der Leyen asserting that Russia’s military was scavenging washing machines for chips.

Valdai Club: Chinese Transfer: From Soft to Discursive Power

Some allege that Beijing intends to reduce its foreign policy activity, return to Deng Xiaoping’s guidelines for pursuing a “passive” foreign policy and move towards direction of “closing” China from the world. On the contrary, one should expect an intensification of China’s efforts to strengthen its positions in the world, including by building up “discursive power,” writes Valdai Club expert Yana Leksyutina.

Climate Change

Climate Change News: Study: IPCC asks emerging countries to drop coal faster than rich nations did

Common Dreams: Researchers Warn of Climate ‘Doom Loop’ as Impacts Forestall Green Energy Transition

Common Dreams: Ominous News From Deep Beneath Doomsday Glacier

The Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica—the so-called “Doomsday Glacier”—is in the news again. We are fascinated with it because it is the Godzilla of glaciers, 80 miles across and as massive as Florida. If the ice sheet holding it back were to melt, and if Thwaites plopped into the ocean, it would all by itself raise sea level two feet. It functions, however, to hold back other glaciers and ice formations, which in its absence would themselves head for the sea. If that happened you would be talking about ten feet of sea level rise. The last time I discussed it, Alastair G.C. Graham had just shown that glaciers sometimes move very quickly. This finding has been widely accepted by scientists.

B.E. Schmidt and colleagues write in a paper for Nature that scientists piloted an underwater vehicle beneath the ice shelf and the Thwaites glacier. Eat your heart out, James Cameron! They found that the glacier is melting a little slower than had been feared, but that since 2010 it has nevertheless shrunk consistently and fairly rapidly. Worse, much worse was their finding that there are big cracks in the glacier and terraced indentations from below that they call ‘staircase-like’ structures. These weak spots are exposed to relatively warm water, at a temperature of 2°C, i.e., 35.6°F, from beneath, and the glacier is melting especially rapidly at these weak hot points.