TeleSUR: Von Der Leyen To Reject US Inflation Reduction Act Before Biden

On Wednesday, the European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen will meet U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss issues of common interest, including support for Ukraine, the relations with China, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), with which the United States seeks to subsidize its production of environmentally friendly technologies with about US$370 billion.

RT: Chinese cars filling void left by Western brands in Russia – Bloomberg

In 2022, Chinese automakers Geely, Chery, and Great Wall Motors took a 17% share of Russia’s car market, filling the void left by the world’s largest automobile manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, Nissan, Renault, and Toyota, which pulled out of the country last year.

RT: Russia’s top nickel producer ditching dollar payments with China – Bloomberg

WSWS: Warning strikes in Germany’s public sector and local transport

East Asia and Oceania

RT: Indian imports of Russian oil hit record high – media

RT: Pilots offered counseling after encounters with Chinese jets

Pilots of Royal Australian Air Force are being offered psychological assistance after aerial encounters with Chinese warplanes over the South China Sea, RAAF Air Commander, Air Vice Marshal Darren Goldie has said.

The RAAF keeps pilots informed about “what services are available, should they be troubled by the experiences they saw,” he added.

Have you tried flying somewhere else? The South China Sea, a famously small area.

Geopolitical Economy: US ambassador arrogantly lectures China ‘threat’: ‘We’re the leader in this region (Asia)’!

In an interview with the Chamber of Commerce, US Ambassador Nicholas Burns referred to China as a “threat”, “great challenge”, and “very difficult government”, stating arrogantly, “The United States is staying in this region. We’re the leader in this [Indo-Pacific] region”.

TeleSUR: Japan’s Nuclear-Contaminated Water Disposal Plan is Harmful: Dundar

Central Asia and the Middle East

Common Dreams: Israeli Anti-Government Protests Hit New Heights as 200,000 March in Tel Aviv

MEMO: UAE-Turkiye trade deal aims to achieve ‘strategic goals

MEMO: Russia in talks for visa-free travels for its nationals to the Gulf

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Ivanov announced that work is underway to waive entry visas for Russian citizens with 11 countries, including four Arab countries; Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

TeleSUR: IAEA Holds ‘Constructive’ Nuclear Talks With Iran: Grossi

Iran has had “the highest level” of cooperation with the IAEA, expects the agency to tell the truth about Iran’s nuclear program as well the country’s commitment ot its regulations, he noted.

Meanwhile, the IAEA chief expressed pleasure at meeting the country’s president, saying the IAEA’s team led by himself had “constructive and positive” meetings with the Iranian side.


Africa News: Burundi to deploy troops to eastern DR Congo

Africa News: French President Macron warns of dire consequences of war in DR Congo

“Faced with a history whose number of victims is equivalent to that of the world wars we have lived through, France does not claim, I do not claim, to have a solution on its own. The solution lies in a collective awakening. In the awareness that is taking place here, which concerns everyone and the whole region, and to the crimes and tragedies that are taking place before our eyes, we must not add oblivion and abandonment. So I hope today that France will remain faithful to its role as an unfailing ally of the DRC in defending its integrity and sovereignty. The Democratic Republic of Congo must not be the spoils of war. The pillaging of the Democratic Republic of Congo must stop,” said Emmanuel Macron, French President.

Macron announced that France will “release an immediate contribution of 34 million euros in humanitarian aid” to cover the immediate needs of the local population in terms of food, health care and sanitation.must not become “the spoils of war”

34 MILLION euros?! Holy fucking shit! What a truly colossal amount!

North America

MEMO: Presidential candidate Nikki Haley vows to stop US foreign aid to countries that ‘hate America’, condemned Israel embassy move to Jerusalem

US foreign aid is literally just a propaganda mechanism designed to make it look like America isn’t exploiting those same countries. It’s the equivalent of a billionare taking thousands of dollars out of your wage and then giving you a pizza party at the end of the year. Speaking of which…

Jacobin: We Aren’t Talking Enough About Wage Theft

Every year, $50 billion are stolen from American workers by their bosses. The Left and labor should be working tirelessly to pass anti-wage-theft legislation at every level of government.

I think we should be politely discussing it with our bosses as we take a nice walk through the streets to a public square, and there we can finally… sign a deal with them to lessen it! What did you think I was going to say?

Jacobin: Starbucks Workers Attempting to Unionize May Have Just Had Their Best Week Ever

This week, white-collar workers at Starbucks signed an open letter in solidarity with baristas, Bernie Sanders announced he will force Howard Schultz to testify before a Senate committee, and the NLRB condemned the company for ignoring worker’s fundamental rights.

That this qualifies are the “best week ever” for Starbucks is pretty sad, but whatever, at least there SOME kind of union activity going on. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, etc.

Jacobin: No, AMLO Is Not Undermining Mexican Democracy

The international press is again bludgeoning Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, this time accusing him of attacking the country’s democratic institutions. It’s a baseless charge intended to undermine a government that refuses total obedience to US hegemony.

South America

Monthly Review: Nicaragua’s ‘political prisoners’ would be criminals by U.S. standards

RT: Russia and Cuba working to counter US sanctions – ambassador

“The introduction of independent settlement mechanisms is being successfully carried out, which will help protect cooperation with Cuba from the negative impact of the US trade, economic and financial blockade, as well as establish ties bypassing the financial organizations of unfriendly states,” the Russian diplomat said.

TeleSUR: Venezuela: Hugo Chavez and His Historical Policy Achievements

RT: Colombia floats new plan to deal with ‘cocaine hippos’

Colombia plans to “translocate” some 70 of its so-called ‘cocaine hippos’ overseas, the governor of the country’s northwestern department of Antioquia, Anibal Gaviria, announced on Thursday. The animals, arguably the most bizarre legacy of the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, will be sent to India and Mexico.

The Ukraine Proxy Conflict

Valdai Club: Sanctions on the Anniversary of the Special Operation in Ukraine

The further escalation of sanctions against Russia is inevitable. This means that for Russia, the most important task remains the development of means of settlement with foreign countries, which would be independent of Western currencies, as well as import substitution and building up trade relations with alternative suppliers in friendly countries, writes Valdai Club Programme Director Ivan Timofeev.

The Left and the Right

Current Affairs: Why Centrism Is Morally Indefensible

Tim Urban is a blogger known for his website “Wait But Why,” which mixes (deliberately poor quality) drawings with text to explain subjects from artificial intelligence to procrastination. Urban’s blog was quite popular, and he did a TED talk that racked up 50 million views, but six years ago he stopped updating his site to go and work on a book. That book, What’s Our Problem?: A Self-Help Book For Societies, has now been published. It is over 700 pages long, has been endorsed by Elon Musk, and to hear Urban tell it, writing the book consumed his life. What began as another explainer post spiraled into a comprehensive treaty on the nature of human society that aims to conclusively diagnose the ills facing our species and propose remedies. Urban, who worked on this from age 35 to age 41, believes he has produced a magnum opus, “a new framework for thinking about our complex political environment,” “a new perspective on the world, on politics, on group dynamics, on how we think and why we believe the things we believe.”

What did Urban come up with after six years of reflection and research? What is the grand new Perspective On Everything that he presents over the course of 121,000 words and 300 of his signature scribbly drawings? Well, I don’t think it’s oversimplifying things too much to say that the core idea is that People Should Be More Reasonable, and that we need a sensible centrist politics that rejects the Tribalistic Extremism of both left and right. Urban is particularly concerned that leftist movements for social justice are wrecking the foundations of the civilized order. If you want to locate him politically, I think Urban roughly shares the viewpoints of Bill Maher and Joe Rogan, both of whom reject left-right labels but spend a lot of time whining about Wokeness.

This is what liberalism does a mfer.

Inside the Imperial Core

WSWS: Financial parasitism and the war drive against China

The political establishment, both the Democrat and Republican parties, as well as state intelligence agencies and numerous imperialist think tanks have made it clear that high-tech development in China is an existential threat to the position of the US and must be countered by all means necessary, including war.

The question which immediately arises is why the US is in danger of falling behind?

The article by Marie Carpenter and William Lazonik on the history of the major US corporation, Cisco Systems, described by the authors as “once the global leader in telecommunications systems and the Internet,” provides some answers to this question.

They note that the US has fallen behind global competitors in mobile communication infrastructure and what they call this “national failure” has created socio-economic and geopolitical tensions.

Lazonick has long carried out research into the way in which giant US corporations have engaged in financial operations to boost the profits of shareholders and investors, starving their industries of the necessary funds for research and development.

The authors conclude that “the impact of financialization in the sector has left the United States without the capacity to innovate in the development of a communication infrastructure network.” US policymakers “have chosen to respond to the US loss of competitiveness with aggressive protectionist measures against Chinese competitors.”

Naked Capitalism: America’s Chips War With China: Another Sanctions Backfire Coming?

Naked Capitalism: Wolf Richter: US Natural Gas Production Surges to Record in 2022, Up 33% from 2017. LNG Exports Hit Record Despite Freeport Terminal Shutdown

Outside the Imperial Core

People’s Daily: Interview: Chinese path to modernization to benefit developing countries, says South African scholar

As China has embarked on a new journey of building a modern socialist country through a Chinese path to modernization, developing countries in Africa and beyond ought to take advantage presented by China’s localized type of modernization, a South African scholar has said.

“The rise of China into a global economic powerhouse came to offset a long held notion that Western modernization was the epitome of global pursuits,” David Monyae, director of the Center for Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg, told Xinhua.

China’s modernization has the means to galvanize and effect modernization elsewhere in the world, especially among the developing nations, he said.

Each nation has its own historical and local conditions to be considered in regard to practices geared towards modernization. Such an approach determines how modernization is carried out and how its gains are distributed and shared within and beyond local societies, according to Monyae, a renowned researcher on China-Africa relations.

“It is paramount that China adheres to a type of modernization that is suitable and true to its national conditions,” he said.

Chinese modernization not only has the common characteristics of modernization of all countries, but also Chinese characteristics based on its own national conditions. It will not be amiss to regard Chinese characteristics as a definition of local rules of practice and frames of reference of local population that include both historical and social conditions, he said.

Chinese characteristics may be defined as the act of letting local value systems and traditions determine implementation and development of modernization, Monyae said. “It is a case where tradition subdues modernity into serving the people, instead of the other way around. It is a case where development and modernity rely on a people-centered approach, not modernization for modernization’s sake.”

Monyae said he has been impressed by China’s achievements on poverty eradication and economic development in recent years.

Deeming China’s eradication of poverty as a feat instead of an isolated event, Monyae highlighted the fact that China achieved the 1st Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations Agenda 2030 a decade in advance.

He also pointed out that developing nations ought to gain courage and engage in a type of modernization suited to local, historical, social and economic conditions.

“Tendencies towards ‘one size fits all’ and straight-jacket type of modernization ought to be opposed at all cost” if the future of building a community with shared future for mankind is to be secured, he said.

Climate Change

Inside Climate News: Environmental Auditors Approve Green Labels for Products Linked to Deforestation and Authoritarian Regimes

Common Dreams: ‘The Biggest Conservation Victory Ever!’ Global Treaty to Protect Oceans Reached

Ocean conservationists expressed elation late Saturday after it was announced—following nearly two decades of consideration and effort—that delegates from around the world had agreed to language for a far-reaching global treaty aimed at protecting the biodiversity on the high seas and in the deep oceans of the world.