RT: Macron opposes regime change in Russia
How nice of him!
RT: Spain considers drastic move to rein in food prices
East Asia and Oceania
TeleSUR: The US is World’s Biggest Spy Power: Wang
When it comes to surveillance, it’s necessary to point out the United States is the world’s No. 1 surveillance state, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.
According to Politico, the Pentagon has spent billions of dollars developing high-altitude reconnaissance balloons since 1997 and quietly transitioned the balloon projects to the military services in 2022. The balloons may be used to track hypersonic strategic cruise missiles being developed by China and Russia.
RT: North Korea warns of ‘unprecedented’ action
North Korea will take “unprecedentedly persistent and strong counteractions” if South Korea and the US go ahead with planned military exercises, the Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang said on Friday.
Central Asia and the Middle East
MEMO: Pompeo: Israel has Biblical claim to the land so it can’t be an occupier
RT: Taliban outlaws contraception – media
MEMO: ‘I wish more Muslims had died in Turkiye quake’, letters to UK mosques say
Every letter is another decade added to your millenium of humiliation.
MEMO: Lack of safety, fear, distress: mental health of 7m children at risk after quakes
TeleSUR: 84,000 Buildings to Be Urgently Demolished in Türkiye
On Friday, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced that the Turkish authorities are investigating 245 people suspected of having criminal responsibilities in the collapse of buildings during the earthquakes that took place on February 6.
MEE: ‘Very simple things’: Earthquake engineers on what went wrong in Turkey
Turkey has a strong seismic code and highly-qualified engineers, but a lack of independent inspection has made it easy for ‘make or break’ errors to be missed, say experts
Africa News: African Union to discuss sanctions on suspended states
Africa News: Starlink deploys satellite internet in Rwanda
Africa News: South Africa: Authorities distribute food in aftermath of flooding
Africa News: Russia to test missile in drills with China and South Africa
Africa News: Ivorians welcome reopening of land borders
Africa News: UN: more than 185,000 displaced due to violence in Somaliland
Common Dreams: Warren and Porter Demand Answers From Big Egg Over ‘Massive Spike’ in Prices
Big Egg and Big Chicken have been in a long-running series of court appeals to determine which was established first.
RT: US credit card debt hits historic high
MEE: Students accuse US university of anti-Palestinian climate
The strategy taken by the legal advocacy group in this case flips a similar approach conducted by Israeli advocacy organisations in the US. The issue centres around Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars federally funded institutions from discriminating against minorities.
Pro-Israel groups have invoked Title VI in the past, including in November 2022 when they filed a complaint against the University of California-Berkeley. The complaint stated that a law school student group’s adoption of a bylaw refusing to invite speakers who support Zionism was antisemitic and discriminatory.
Common Dreams: Amid Ohio Nightmare, Rail Worker Alliance Urges All of Labor to Back Railroad Nationalization
Jacobin: After the Ohio Train Disaster, Pete Buttigieg’s Transportation Department Could Get Sued
In response to the train derailment disaster in Ohio, six environmental groups have written a letter to Pete Buttigieg threatening to take legal action if the Department of Transportation fails to act on a key railroad safety rule.
It is deeply unfair to assign any kind of blame to the Department of Transportation in this issue. I will refer you to the Department of Exploding Trains, who will hear your complaints.
RT: Canada ends probe into trucker emergency
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act against the truckers gathered in Ottawa to protest Covid-19 restrictions was justified and the government’s measures were appropriate and effective, the commission charged with investigating the affair announced on Friday.
I’m sure the chuds are getting really riled up about that. Bet there’s some “we investigated ourselves and found no wrongdoing” memes circulating, now in the service of you not being allowed to cough into other people’s faces.
TeleSUR: Peru: Congress Passes Constitutional Complaint Against Castillo
TeleSUR: Ecuadorian Movements Demand Resignation of President Lasso
Canadian Dimension: The left makes a comeback in Ecuador’s local elections
In both the local elections and the referendum, Lasso’s right-wing government suffered a staggering defeat, proving the enduring popularity of Correa’s Citizen Revolution Movement (RC). The RC won nine of the country’s 23 prefectures as well as 60 mayorships, including in the two largest cities of Guayaquil and Quito. In Guayaquil, the left’s victory is especially significant, given that the city has been dominated by the right-wing Social Christian Party for the past 30 years.
In another blow to Lasso, Ecuadoreans voted “no” to all the questions on his referendum. This is particularly embarrassing given that the referendum was meant to supply Lasso’s embattled government with an easy win. As Sebastián Hurtado explained in the lead-up to the vote: “The questions have been carefully designed to generate the least resistance from the public and secure a political win that can be presented as a renewed mandate for the Lasso administration, providing him with some political breathing room.”
TeleSUR: Brazilian President Announces Minimum Wage Increase
Common Dreams: Brazil’s New Lula Government Is an Opportunity for a New Trade Model
The Ukraine Proxy Conflict
Monthly Review: Did the U.S. blow up Nord Stream if there is no media to report it?
“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The idea behind this old thought experiment should not be relegated to the realm of philosophy. Present day reality can be used in place of hypothetical falling trees. If the United States blows up the Nord Stream pipelines but the media ignores it, did the attack ever happen?
WSWS: UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer visits Kiev to pledge loyalty to NATO’s war
RT: Ukraine tells ‘patriotic civilians’ to leave Russian city
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk has warned civilians who remained in the Russian city of Artyomovsk to leave immediately. The official expressed surprise that thousands of people reportedly remain in the area as Kiev’s troops attempt to hold it.
“Frankly, I wonder what 6,000 civilians are still doing there,” Vereshchuk wrote on Facebook on Friday. “If you are a sane, law-abiding and patriotic citizen, you should evacuate immediately.”
I can’t imagine that anybody still in the city at this point isn’t supporting Russia and waiting for them to take the city. The place is a total ruin.
RT: Ukrainian troops finish crash course on US ‘tank killers’
The first Bradley battalion has completed its training in Germany, the Pentagon announced
Retrospectives, History, Theory, and Technology
Naked Capitalism: Asking the Oppressed to Be Nonviolent Is an Impossible Standard That Ignores History
RT: After 15 years of ‘independence’, it is clear that Kosovo was a stepping stone for NATO’s imperial goals
The Left and the Right
Common Dreams: How ‘Woke’ Corporate America Became the Bogeyman of Today’s Anti-Communist Crusaders
Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida and perhaps the next president of the United States, is waging war against something he and many others on the right identify as “woke communism.” DeSantis even persuaded the Florida legislature to pass a Victims of Communism law, mandating that every November 7th (the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia), all public schools in the state must devote 45 minutes of instruction to the evils of the red menace.
You might reasonably ask: What menace? After all, the Soviet Union fell apart more than 30 years ago and, long before that, communist parties around the world had dwindled in numbers and lost their revolutionary zeal. The American Communist Party was buried alive nearly three-quarters of a century ago during the McCarthy hysteria of the 1950s.
How then can there be a muscular rebirth of anti-communism when there’s no communism to face off against? The Claremont Institute, a right-wing think tank, explains the paradox this way: the powers that be of the present moment, including “education, corporate media, entertainment, big business, especially big tech, are to varying degrees aligned with the Democratic Party which is now controlled by Woke Communism.”
All clear now? A “cold civil war” is afoot, so we’re assured by DeSantis and crew, and if we don’t act quickly, “woke communism will replace American justice… the choice is between liberty or death.”
How surpassingly odd! Somehow, the “spectre” invoked nearly 200 years ago by Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto, reflecting his urge to see the exploited and impoverished mobilized to overthrow capitalism, now hangs out at country clubs, corporate boardrooms, and the White House — all the redoubts of capitalism.
They’re certainly getting increasingly antsy and afraid as they can see the decline of their capitalist empire, but they also realize that they can’t do anything to stop it. Hence, performative shit like DeSantis’s November 7th idea, and lunging at enemies where none exist. The mass psychosis as the American Empire dies will be horrific, but at least we’ll be able to make balloon jokes.
Monthly Review: Gerardo Hernández on the resilience and continuity of the Cuban revolution
Monthly Review: Rescue collective life by reading a Red Book: The Seventh Newsletter (2023)
Inside the Imperial Core
Naked Capitalism: Is Switzerland About to Become First Country to Outlaw a Cashless Society?
Jacobin: Tom Nairn Explained Why Britain’s Constitution Stifles Democracy
Jacobin: The Nicola Sturgeon Era in Scottish Politics Already Feels Fleeting and Ephemeral
Common Dreams: Due to Wars and Climate Destruction, US Ranks Worse Than Peers on ‘Impunity’ Index
Outside the Imperial Core
Open Democracy: How grassroots democracy has become a xenophobic weapon in South Africa
Climate Change News: World Bank proposes freeing up $4bn by loosening lending rules