TeleSUR: Europe’s Energy Crisis Likely To Stay, Warn Analysts

People’s Daily: EU agrees on 10th package of sanctions against Russia

People’s Daily: Ukraine crisis brings EU’s strategic autonomy back into spotlight

Open Democracy: What the SNP leadership race says about the party’s post-Sturgeon future

Open Democracy: Government is ‘monitoring’ human rights lawyers, minister admits

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick made the extraordinary statement during a debate in Parliament on Monday about far-right protests in Liverpool, after claiming that human right lawyers “exploit and abuse our laws”.

Open Democracy: Home Office paying asylum seekers £1 an hour to clean detention centres

People’s Daily: Germany mum on Nord Stream explosions amid U.S. sabotage claims

Keep that tongue on that boot.

TeleSUR: German Inflation Rises to 8.7 Pct in January: Destatis

German inflation picked up again slightly to 8.7 percent in January after declining for two months, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Wednesday. Energy and food continued to be the main price drivers.

Despite government relief measures, including a price cap for electricity, natural gas and district heating, overall energy prices in Germany in January were still up 23.1 percent year-on-year, according to Destatis.

That’s so weird!

East Asia and Oceania

Monthly Review: U.S. sends troops to Taiwan after general threatens war with China by 2025

WSWS: Amid mounting mass protests against IMF austerity, Sri Lanka’s autocratic president cancels local elections

Central Asia and the Middle East

TeleSUR: Türkiye Delivers Policy Rate Cut Amid Earthquake Recovery

People’s Daily: Erdogan holds phone talks with Russian, Ukrainian presidents

Monthly Review: Syria just suffered a devastating earthquake but Israeli bombing does not stop

MEE: ‘Earthquake diplomacy’: Assad’s regional isolation diminishes following Oman visit

Taking full advantage of a natural disaster, the Syrian president presses his advantage in his second regional visit in 12 years

TeleSUR: Palestinians Go on General Strike to Reject the Nablus Massacre

MEE: Israeli currency falls to three-year low as judicial reforms edge closer

WSWS: Banks burn in Lebanon amid collapse of state institutions

Lebanese banks were set aflame last week as the country’s increasingly desperate people took to the streets of Beirut in protest as the Lebanese pound fell to a new all-time low of 80,000 against the dollar. This came amid bank strikes and the government’s failure to take any measures to alleviate the long-running economic crisis.

MEE: US judge rules Afghan central bank assets cannot be awarded to 9/11 victims

TeleSUR: Earthquake of Magnitude 6.8 Strikes Eastern Tajikistan

“Little or no population” will be exposed to landslides from the quake, the USGS said, adding that the epicenter appeared to be located in Upper Badakhshan, a province bordering Afghanistan and China.


MEE: African Union condemns ‘racial statements’ from Tunisian president

The African Union on Saturday condemned comments by the Tunisian President Kais Saied suggesting people from sub-Saharan Africa in the country were linked to criminality.

Open Democracy: How migrants are changing the male face of Ghana’s gold mines

I work with the MIDEQ (‘Migration for Development & Equality’) project, and our research shows that women are migrating independently between countries in the Global South and doing male-dominated work such as mining and construction. It is evident that Chinese women are moving to Ghana for better job opportunities in mining – challenging the assumption that mining is for men.

Africa News: Algeria dissolves pro-democracy group amid wider crackdown

Africa News: Deadly Chad protests: death toll now estimated at 128

On October 20, 2022, opposition demonstrations against the continuation in power for two more years of the transitional president, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, had been repressed in blood in N’Djamena, the capital, and in other cities of the country.

The authorities had initially announced that around fifty people had died, mainly young people shot dead in the capital by the forces of order, before re-evaluating this figure at 73 deaths. However, NGOs had denounced the underestimated figures.

Africa News: Burkina Faso holds reburial ceremony for Thomas Sankara

Africa News: Burkina Faso to recruit 5,000 soldiers to fight Jihadists

Africa News: Africa’s largest film festival kicks off in Burkina Faso

Africa News: Cyclone Freddy slams eastern Mozambique with exceptional rainfall

Africa News: Moroccans struggle to secure basic needs as prices rocket

Africa News: Nigerians keep watch for vote’s outcome after delays

MEE: Shadow games on the Red Sea as scramble for Sudan’s ports intensifies

Strange things are happening along the Sudanese coastline.

Foreign operatives appear to be living on small islands in the Red Sea, patrolling the waters around them and banishing the locals.

Billion-dollar deals are being made and then unmade. The whole world is coming to African shores, with dreams of power and profit occupying their thoughts. In the shadows, away from prying eyes, a game is being played.

North America

Naked Capitalism: People Got Used to Higher Prices and Are Outspending even Raging Inflation. They Don’t Want this Thing to Land

People want to get on with their lives, it seems. Their mood has improved. They’ve gotten used to living with high inflation. They got raises or got higher-paying jobs. Gasoline prices have plunged since the peak in mid-2022, and that matters a lot because it’s the most in-your-face inflation along with food inflation. They might still gripe about higher prices, but you live only once?

And so they spent money left and right in January, and they outspent even this raging inflation. We already saw surprising strength from new and used vehicle sales coming out of the auto industry, and from the retailers’ point of view earlier this month, which showed that consumers were in no mood for a landing.

Today, we got inflation-adjusted (or “real”) consumer spending trends for January from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) on durable goods, nondurable goods, and services is adjusted for inflation based on the PCE price index, which blew out.

WSWS: US Fed interest rate hikes far from over

Common Dreams: Biden Administration’s 517,000 New Jobs Can’t Overcome Inherent Economic Burdens

Naked Capitalism: One Texas Judge Will Decide Fate of Abortion Pill Used by Millions of American Women

STATnews: ‘A slippery slope’: A looming nationwide abortion pill ban could undermine the entire drug approval system

People’s Daily: Over 100,000 homes, businesses in California suffering power outages due to winter storm

Climate Change News: US offers $550m to tackle pollution in poor neighbourhoods

People’s Daily: Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 accounts for 85 pct new COVID-19 cases in U.S.

Jacobin: Strikes Were Up Significantly Last Year

New numbers show that the number of strikes and the number of workers on strike both went up last year. Labor is still incredibly weak, but more workers walking off the job is a very good thing.

Common Dreams: We Are Here: What If They Gave A Hate Party and Nobody Came?

Because God knows haters gonna hate, the sorry likes of neo-Nazis and The Goyim Defense League declared Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, a National Day of Hate, per orders to, “Shock the masses with banner drops, stickers, fliers, and graffiti.” Instead, law enforcement and faith leaders prepped to confront brown-shirted storm-troopers improbably met only with glad defiant crowds proclaiming “Love Not Hate,” “A Day of Resolve,” “We Are Here.” So okay. Maybe there’s a sliver of hope for us.

South America

TeleSUR: Over 16,000 Haitian Migrants Deported From Dominican Republic

Monthly Review: Fidel Castro’s legacy lives on as Cuba keeps sending ‘Doctors, not Bombs’ all across the World

Canadian DImension: Protests in Cuba vs. Peru: a case study in Canadian hypocrisy

TeleSUR: Cuban FM Calls for Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp Shut Down

TeleSUR: Maduro: New Stage of Cooperation Between Venezuela and Brazil

TeleSUR: Brazil Mobilizes Largest Warship to Assist Landslide Victims

TeleSUR: Disapproval of Ecuador’s President’s Administration Reaches 85%

The Ukraine Proxy Conflict

TeleSUR: China Proposes 12-Point Plan to End The Ukrainian Conflict

TeleSUR: Russia Welcomes the Chinese Peace Plan for Ukraine

Monthly Review: West tells Global South ‘you can’t be neutral’ in Ukraine war: You are either with us, or against us

Anti War: Washington Post Lets Hersh’s Dangerous Cat Out of the Bag

Bombshell No. 1: Seymour Hersh’s Feb. 8 report that President Joe Biden authorized the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines built to carry cheap Russian gas to Europe.

Bombshell No. 2: The Washington Post today ended the Establishment media embargo on Hersh’s damning report, mentioning its findings and even including a link to his article.

Geopolitical Economy: Ukraine conflict ‘caused by Europeans’ love of war, hegemony’, says Malaysia’s ex leader

MoA: Ukraine - Those Guns Unknown To Me

For the one month I recorded 214 destroyed truck pulled howitzers, 92 destroyed self-propelled howitzers and 56 destroyed Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS). About 12,000 Ukrainian troops were also reported to have been killed.

For comparison the artillery ‘fist’ of a NATO tank or motorized infantry division is its artillery brigade. It consists of 3 fire battalions each of which has 3 fire companies each of which has 6 guns or MLRS. That is a total of 52 major artillery pieces.

3 times 3 times 6 is 54, actskually.

Losing a total of 362 major artillery pieces as Ukraine has done in a month is a lot, much more than the ‘west’ is able to replace. The current lack of ammunition that Ukraine claims to have will soon change into an oversupply simply because Ukraine will lack the guns and MLRS to fire it.

But that isn’t the focus of this piece.

I have wondered about some howitzer/gun types the reports mentioned as destroyed. I had never heard of those and had to look them up.

What is for example the M101 truck pulled howitzer?

So the M101, pictured below, is a U.S. copy of a German army howitzer design from World War I. Some 10,000 have been build mostly during World War II.

Common Dreams: Ukraine and The Tunnel at the End of the Light


Retrospectives, History, Theory, and Technology

Developing Economics: The evolution of mainstream economics in five political-economic questions

The trajectory of mainstream economics can be understood in terms of how the discipline historically responded to moments of crises by attempting to “theoretically fix” the understandings related to five core “questions” of capitalist political economy – namely land, trade, labour, state, and legal-institutional framework. This involved legitimising improvements in land that led to the dispossession and the destruction of the commons, justifying free trade based on comparative advantage as opposed to mercantilist state intervention, reducing labour to a factor of production that was supposedly rewarded based on its marginal productivity and hence not being exploited, legitimising state intervention to stabilise capitalism and developing a legal-institutional framework to protect markets from popular democratic pressures. These “theoretical fixes” served to ideologically legitimise, preserve, and perpetuate the core content of capitalist social relations even as it corresponded with the modification of the surface-level appearances of capitalism.

Developing Economics: Colonialism and the Indian Famines: A response to Tirthankar Roy

Responding to Sullivan and Hickel’s recently published research article (in World Development) and an opinion article (in Al Jazeera), Tirthankar Roy, points out how the authors are wrong in claiming that British colonial policies caused several famines in India. All that is fine, except that these articles neither investigate nor come up with any original claim regarding the causes of famines in colonial India.

Monthly Review: Why embracing anti-colonialism made Malcolm a marked man

The Left and the Right

Monthly Review: The true test of a civilisation is the absence of anxiety about health: The Eighth Newsletter (2023)

Current Affairs: Why The Right Hates Social Security (And How They Plan to Destroy It)

Inside the Imperial Core

MoA: U.S. Hegemony - At War With China’s Global Security Initiative

Geopolitical Economy: West is out of touch with rest of world politically, EU-funded study admits

Jacobin: Britain’s Economic Model Is Crumbling, but Its Politicians Don’t Want to Face Reality

Jacobin: The State of Ukrainian Democracy Is Not Strong

It never was…?

One year after Russia’s invasion, Ukraine is backsliding away from democratic freedoms and liberal pluralism.


Outside the Imperial Core

Valdai Club: How Russia Can Build Relations With Friendly Countries

A year into the conflict between Russia and the West turning into a proxy military confrontation, the most important lesson learned in terms of the international consequences of these developments is that such a large and powerful country really cannot be isolated in terms of foreign policy. It is difficult to say with certainty how much this is connected with the merits and activity of the Russian state itself, and what simply turned out to be an inevitable consequence of the changing world over the past three-four decades.

Michael Roberts: Nigeria: capitalist failure

Whoever eventually becomes president faces a daunting task. Nigeria is close to being a ‘failed state’, despite the energy of its people. Under current president Buhari, income per capita has fallen and 90m Nigerians live on less than $1.90 a day. At least a third of the population are out of work and tens of millions hold precarious jobs in the so-called informal sector. At the same time, corruption among the elite is rife. To quote the IMF’s latest report on Nigeria: “Nigeria continues to experience large and petty corruption and weak enforcement of the rule of law with perception of corruption having worsened since 2016).”

Security is in an appalling state. During Buhari’s presidency, some 60,000 people have been killed by terrorists, criminal gangs or the army, according to data compiled by the Council on Foreign Relations. In the Islamic State of West Africa Province, an Isis offshoot, runs riot. And secessionist tendencies that erupted into a terrible civil war in the late 1960 are mounting. In 2022, Nigeria ranked 16th bottom out of 179 countries on the Global Fragile States Index and 143rd bottom out of 163 countries on the Global Peace Index. No wonder better-off Nigerians get out of the country if they can.

Climate Change

Climate Change News: US backs Ajay Banga to lead World Bank in climate fight

Inside Climate News: This Arctic US Air Base Has Its Eyes on Russia. But Climate is a Bigger Threat

The isolated Thule Air Base in Greenland is the only U.S. outpost that can monitor all of Russia’s missiles, but thawing permafrost is undermining the station.

Inside Climate News: Al Gore Talks Climate Progress, Setbacks and the First Rule of Holes: Stop Digging