TeleSUR: UK, EU Reach Deal for N. Ireland, Eyeing New Chapter in Ties
WSWS: Junior doctors in England set to strike for three days from March 13
RT: German debt skyrockets
Interest owed on Germany’s public debt has soared from €4 billion ($4.2 billion) in 2021 to €40 billion (over $42 billion) currently, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner revealed on Monday.
Common Dreams: Thunberg, Norwegian Sami Activists Demand Removal of Wind Turbines From Indigenous Lands
Common Dreams: Leftist Elly Schlein—‘Italy’s AOC’—Elected to Confront Far-Right Giorgia Meloni
East Asia and Oceania
RT: China boosts Russian coal imports – data
Central Asia and the Middle East
MEMO: Water levels in Iraq’s Tigris and Euphrates rivers hit new lows
MEE: Dubai-based Russian shipping company sanctioned
MEMO: World Bank estimates 6 February earthquakes caused $34.2bn in damage in Turkiye
MEMO: Yemen: besieged port sees first cargo ship in 7 years
MEMO: Iran’s currency hits all-time low amid economic crisis, nuclear deal impasse
MEMO: Italy seeks Western support to help Tunisia economy
Africa News: Egypt’s top diplomat visits Syria for first time in a decade
Africa News: France to unveil new economic, military strategy in Africa
Macron is expected to call for a more balanced partnership with African nations, in a speech at the Elysee presidential palace before he begins an ambitious Africa trip on Wednesday to Gabon, Angola, the Republic of Congo and Congo.
Africa News: Nigerian opposition parties protest ‘compromised’ election
Africa News: Court ruling on Lgbtq would have unforeseen implications - Kenya’s National Assembly Speaker
The Speaker of the National Assembly in Kenya denounced a Supreme Court ruling. The Supreme Court has recognised the right of the LGBTQ+ community to form a lobby group, but according to Moses Wetangula, although Kenya is secular, it is very religious and it is therefore up to the highest court in the country to defend “public morality”.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General had already promised to challenge the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying that the issue was not a matter for the corridors of justice, but for public consultation.
The ruling also caused a storm in evangelical circles, including the Nairobi-based CITAM church. On Sunday, through its bishop, it described the court’s decision as “contradictory” because it went against “cultural norms”.
The local clergy called on Christians and all Kenyans to reject the ruling.
Homosexuality remains criminalised in Kenya. Even today, those convicted of homosexuality in Kenya face up to 14 years in prison.
The Supreme Court in its ruling, stated: “Despite gayism being illegal (in Kenya), they have a right of association.”
RT: China tells US to end lab leak ‘smears’
RT: White House distances itself from Covid ‘lab-leak’ theory
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has rejected a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report which stated that a US Department of Energy study concluded that the Covid-19 pandemic was likely the result of a failure of safety practices at a laboratory in China, stating that there is “not a definitive answer” as to the true origins of the virus.
The paper claimed on Sunday that the Department of Energy had viewed “new intelligence” which led them to believe that Covid-19 wasn’t naturally produced in the environment, but rather the result of a so-called ‘lab-leak’ – but it added that it has “low confidence” in its findings.
Responding to the WSJ report, Sullivan said that President Joe Biden has ordered a full investigation into the potential origins of Covid-19 but he stressed the various governmental bodies looking into the matter have yet to reach a unanimous verdict.
“President Biden has directed, repeatedly, every element of our intelligence community to put effort and resources behind getting to the bottom of this question,” Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.
The FBI has also backed the lab-leak theory but four other US agencies have determined that natural transmission was the more likely source of the virus. Two other agencies are currently undecided, according to the WSJ.
I’m confused as to why every agency is reaching their own separate conclusions on this. Regardless, all of this is only making the United States look even more insane to everybody who hasn’t had their brain melted by the last few years, so whatever. My personal theory is that China released a weather balloon over Wuhan full of infected pangolins and then popped it.
People’s Daily: U.S. is averaging one chemical accident every two days: The Guardian
It’s probably fine. All these chemicals will probably neutralize each other and give you superpowers or something. Besides, a little lead in the brain never hurt anybody, look at the boomers!
WSWS: Biden’s program for mass hunger: Food stamps being cut back for 42 million
Food stamp benefits are being reduced across the board Wednesday, with 42 million Americans, all of them poor and many of them children, seeing cuts ranging from $95 to $235 a month per household. The average per capita payment will fall to $6.10 a day, or about $2 a meal.
WSWS: More than 300,000 in Michigan with no power five days after ice storm
MEMO: Brazil allows two Iranian warships to dock in Rio despite US pressure
Reuters, earlier this month reported that Brazil had bowed to US pressure and declined Iran’s request for the vessels to dock in Rio in late January, in a gesture from Lula as he flew to Washington to meet US President Joe Biden.
However, with Lula’s trip over, the ships have been allowed to dock. Vice Admiral, Carlos Eduardo Horta Arentz, the deputy Chief of Brazil’s Naval Staff, gave his approval for the ships to dock in Rio between 26 February and 4 March, according to a 23 February notice in the official gazette.
Inside Climate News: Eduardo Mendúa, Ecuadorian Who Fought Oil Extraction on Indigenous Land, Is Shot to Death
TeleSUR: Chile Declares ‘Santa Ana’ Forest Fire in Biobío Under Control
The Ukraine Proxy Conflict
Gray Zone: European antiwar protests gain strength as NATO’s Ukraine proxy war escalates
The source for this article is Bild, so y’know, take it with a bit of salt, though if they’re actually getting quotes from Wustner then I guess it doesn’t matter.
Last February, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed to invest €100 billion ($105.6 billion) in the Bundeswehr with the aim of making it the best-equipped military in Europe. However, Wustner told Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday that, one year on, Scholz’s promise remains unfulfilled.
“For the soldiers, nothing has noticeably improved since then,” said the head of the union, which represents serving and former German troops.
RT: Impact of Ukrainian arms deliveries on German military revealed
Anti War: Nine More Ukraines
Joe Biden must think that he’s the world’s Rich Uncle. In a meeting with the so-called Bucharest Nine today he promised these former Warsaw Pact nations – which should never have been admitted to NATO in the first place – unlimited economic and military support.
Nine more Ukraines if need be.
Biden conveyed reassurances that the United States is prepared to speed to their defense if they come under offensive action by Moscow. These nations include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
TeleSUR: Transnistria Denies Being Under Ukrainian Military Threat
Retrospectives, History, Theory, and Technology
Jacobin: Germany Had Its Debts Written Off. Today, We Should Do the Same for the Global South.
Seventy years ago today, Germany’s debts from World War II were written off. Today climate activists around the world are protesting in front of German embassies to demand the cancellation of the debt of the Global South.
Well, obviously, but the global south being in debt to the West is kind of the entire point. Like, it’s not an unfortunate byproduct of some other thing, the ENTIRE, DEDICATED purpose of western institutions is to make every country their debt peons for an eternity of indentured servitude and thus cheap labour. They look at Haiti and far from feeling sympathy, they see an example that the rest of the world should be forced into.
Jacobin: In Bosnia, the End of War Has Not Brought Peace
Michael Roberts: EEA1 – the causes of current inflation
The Eastern Economics Association (EEA) held their annual conference last weekend. It’s not as large as the huge annual conference of American Economics Association (ASSA), but the EEA does incorporate much more heterodox and radical economic presentations than ASSA.
There were hundreds of papers presented. I shall concentrate on a just a few papers from the sessions arranged by Union of Radical Political Economics (URPE), which were kindly sent to me by their authors.
The Left and the Right
Monthly Review: Nearly half of Canadians aged 18 to 34 support socialism
More than four in ten young Canadians think that socialism is the best economic system for Canada, though few want to pay higher taxes to fund higher spending.
According to a Fraser Institute poll released on Wednesday, Canadians aged 18 to 34 support socialism (46%), capitalism (39%), communism (13%), and fascism (8%).
Awesome! I’m hoping that this isn’t just the result of weird definitions?
Unlike previous polls of this type, this one focused on how respondents understood socialism. Many young Canadians defined socialism as getting more government assistance. However, according to the report, socialism is defined as the state controlling the means of production, namely the raw materials, capital such as machinery and equipment, and buildings required to transform various inputs into goods and services.
Oh no. Oh god. We’re using the “Socialism is when the government does things, and when it does a LOT of things, that’s fricking communism.” definition.
Outside the Imperial Core
Indian Punchline: Reports of Adani’s eclipse are greatly exaggerated
Beijing insists that Huawei’s rehabilitation in America is a litmus test for the China-US relationship. Brand names like Adani Group are important. It takes much effort to create a brand name globally. And it is so easy to tarnish it.
Adani flagged that the Hindenburg report was a “calculated attack on India, the independence, integrity and quality of Indian institutions, and the growth story and ambition of India.” We cannot be dismissive about such a possibility. Indeed, today’s reality is that after China brilliantly seized the high ground, the Western countries have turned their back on globalisation.
And they are returning to mercantilist foreign policies. Neo-mercantilist strategies — regime change, sanctions, brigandage, etc. — have roared back to the centerstage. Now, India refuses to be part of the Euro-Atlantic agenda in shaping the 21st century world order. The Euro-Atlantic world is upset about it. Financiers like George Soros feel like beached whales in the Indian conditions because a huge financial market is inaccessible for rapacious exploitation.
Valdai Club: Political Philosophy: An Attribute of a Superpower
Does Russia have its own political philosophy? The answer so far is rather negative. Russia has returned in its foreign policy to the principles of realism, which was already an achievement for its time. But it is too early to talk about a systemic and deeply developed political philosophy, writes Valdai Club Programme Director Ivan Timofeev.
Valdai Club: The Middle East: The End of Eternity
The fact that humanity has entered a new stage of its development does not need proof. This concerns the whole world, and hence each of its regions, particularly the Middle East, which has a chance to find a new destiny and a new role in the emerging world order.
Naked Capitalism: The EV Revolution Brings Environmental Uncertainty at Every Turn
Yves here. We have regularly pointed out that the greenhouse gas advantages of electric cars are considerably offset, if not more than offset, by other environmental cost. This article provides more support for this argument.
Again, the enthusiasm for EVs comes from the desire to preserve modern lifestyles. Trying to put off the day of environmental reckoning will only produce worse outcomes.