RT: Gender equality could be centuries away - UN chief

Speaking ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, Guterres proclaimed that true gender equality was “300 years away,” citing an estimate from UN Women – an organization dedicated to gender equality and female empowerment.

RT: G7 to reconsider price cap on Russian oil

“All I can say is that the G7 is planning to re-evaluate the ceiling in March,” Rosenberg told RIA Novosti on the sidelines of the CERAWeek energy conference in the US oil industry capital, Houston.

The official reportedly evaded the issue of the price ceiling’s impact on supply-demand balance at the global crude market. She also declined to comment on the efficiency of the sanctions, or on their capacity to change policies pursued by Moscow.

Meanwhile, US Energy envoy Amos Hochstein said that price caps, imposed by the G7 and allies to force Russia to sell its crude and fuel at a discount, are working well.

If by “working well” you mean “literally having the exact opposite effect” then I agree.


RT: Ukraine considers LGBTQ breakthrough

Oh, I’m sure Ukrainians are going to love that.

RT: 600,000 UK small businesses could go bust this year – report

Around 630,000 small and microbusinesses in Britain have raised concerns that they may have to fold this year due to spiraling costs, Sky News reported on Monday, citing a study by website builder GoDaddy. Their collapse could reportedly wipe £12 billion ($14.4 billion) out of the economy.

More than three-quarters of survey respondents described the cost-of-living crisis as the biggest challenge they have ever faced, calling the price of energy their single biggest concern.

WSWS: Millions suffer plunge in living standards as cost of living surges in UK

A survey of 2,000 people published this week by the Which? consumer rights and advice organisation revealed that one in seven people 15 percent are skipping meals as prices rise.

As well as people skipping meals, almost 10 percent prioritised meals for other family members above themselves.

UK household energy bills began to shoot up at the end of 2021, even before the war in Ukraine forced them to record levels. According to House of Commons research published in January, “Average bills were £760 in 2021 compared to £450 in 2020, a 36% real increase.”

RT: UK mulls spy-balloon fleet of its own

TeleSUR: The French Perform the Largest Protest of the Last Four Decades

Common Dreams: ‘The Movement Has Spread’: Strikes Across France Aim to Block Macron Attack on Pensions

East Asia and Oceania

Geopolitical Economy: Xi blasts US ‘containment, encirclement’ of China, Foreign Ministry slams ‘hysterical neo-McCarthyism’

President Xi Jinping denounced the US-led Western attempt to “contain, encircle, and suppress China”. Foreign Minister Qin Gang condemned Washington’s “hysterical neo-McCarthyism” and “malicious confrontation”, opposing the “cold war mentality”.

People’s Daily: India’s agriculture under spell of looming heatwaves

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) recently warned of a hotter-than-usual March, April and May in most parts of northeast India, east and central India, and some parts of northwest India.

RT: India’s foreign trade in rupees gains momentum – media

Eight more countries have opened Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVA) aimed at facilitating cross-border trade settlements in the Indian currency, news website Firstpost reported on Tuesday.

TeleSUR: New Study Shows Japan Nearly Doubles Its Island Territory

The last count in 1987 indicated the existence of 6 852 islands, of which 260 were inhabited.

According to a recent study, Japan may soon add more than 7 000 islands to its official list of land holdings, totaling 14 125 islands.

The results of the new survey “will not affect Japan’s territory or territorial waters,” the GSI said in a statement.

Central Asia and the Middle East

MEMO: Israel blames Iran for cyberattack on technology institute

“The consequences of my own actions?! This is so fucking unfair."

MEMO: President: Israel in ‘historic crisis’ over judicial overhaul

“We are in a historic crisis that threatens to destroy us from within,” Herzog said in a speech during a meeting with 100 mayors and heads of local councils.

“We are in one of the most difficult moments that the State of Israel has experienced. It seems like a paradox, doesn’t it? No missiles, no alarms, no red alert. But we all know deep down that this is a supreme national danger,” he added.

RT: Iran poised to ditch dollar in trade with Africa

Iran has suggested the establishment of a joint bank with African states to help develop cooperation and to promote trade in local currencies.

MEMO: Iran announces first arrests over schoolgirls' poisoning

MEMO: US Defence Secretary makes unannounced visit to Iraq, 20 years after invasion

The United States' Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin today arrived in Iraq on an unannounced visit to discuss continued defence cooperation and to reaffirm Washington’s partnership with Baghdad.

After beginning his Middle East tour on Sunday in Jordan, in which he met with King Abdullah, it was expected that Austin would later visit Israel and Egypt for discussions on regional issues and to reiterate the US’s commitment to its allies in the region. The unannounced visit to Iraq today, therefore, came as a surprise.

MEMO: Saudi Arabia, South Korea agree to boost defence cooperation

According to Yonhap, Saudi Arabia is considering introducing the Korean Chongong 2 medium-range, surface-to-air missile system.

RT: Georgians riot over ‘foreign agent’ law

Thousands of protesters in Tbilisi clashed with the police on Tuesday over a proposed bill on foreign agents that critics claim has been modeled after a Russian law. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has endorsed the protest while visiting the US.


Africa News: Kenya: Rural women resort to grueling labour as drought worsens food insecurity

Africa News: Ghana’s Army owns up to brutality, issues apology

oops, mb.

North America

Common Dreams: Under Subpoena Threat, Starbucks CEO Finally Agrees to Testify Before Sanders' Committee

Ohohoh, Schultz is gonna be so owned that he’ll HAVE to let all of Starbucks unionize!

Jacobin: Joe Biden Is Bringing Back Donald Trump’s Asylum Ban at the Border

The Biden administration’s recently announced change to border policy effectively resurrects Donald Trump’s asylum ban. It will cause harm or suffering to thousands or millions of migrants seeking survival in the US.

Canadian Dimension: British Columbia’s logging industry is using mill closures as a political tool in its fight against regulation

Monthly Review: The crisis of trans health care in Canada

The state of trans health in Canada was appalling well before COVID became a household name. The Being Safe, Being Me survey on trans youth health, conducted by the University of British Columbia in 2019, concluded that “almost two thirds of the trans and/or non-binary youth… have self-harmed (64%) and/or seriously considered suicide (64%) within the past year.” Of these youth, 63 percent reported severe emotional distress, and 21 percent attempted suicide.

South America

Circle of Blue: Rewilding Pulls Brazil’s Atlantic Forest Wetlands Back from the Brink

Experiencing its worst drought in decades, Argentina’s farming industry faces historic financial loss.

In Alaska’s Cook Inlet, dwindling salmon returns force nearly one dozen emergency fishing closures and restrictions.

Privatization, rewilding, and international support for the Atlantic Forest, Brazil’s second largest, offer hope for its restoration.

A new analysis reveals that chemical spills occur in the United States, on average, once every two days.

TeleSUR: US Pushes to Control Citizenship by Investment in the Caribbean

TeleSUR: Venezuela To Boost Oil Production Bump With Russian Rosneft Co.

TeleSUR: Anti-Government Protests Continue in Peru

The Ukraine Proxy Conflict

Monthly Review: Major U.S. outlets found Hersh’s Nord Stream scoop too hot to handle

This is from a FAIR article last week that you may have already seen.

RT: Ukraine responds to Nord Stream claims

Reports of Kiev’s involvement in sabotage are “a complement for our special forces,” but are not true, Ukraine’s defense minister says

TeleSUR: Belarus Links Ukrainian Intelligence To Attack On Russian Plane

“The KGB counterintelligence investigations established the SBU’s direct involvement in the preparations and execution of that terrorist attack,” the KGB spokesperson Konstantin Bichek stated.


Retrospectives, History, Theory, and Technology

RT: Back in the USSR: 15 minute cities have unleashed a wave of conspiracy theories, but the concept is borrowed from a Soviet idea

2023 already has a flourishing conspiracy theory involving a covert plan to close citizens off in their districts and take away their freedoms. There are, as always, believers and skeptics. The latest controversy revolves around the “15-minute cities” debate, and it’s spreading across social networks and in the media. Still, experts point out that the idea itself is not an entirely new one. Similar projects have been explored by urbanists from different countries during the 20th century, and the concept was used by Soviet architects as well.

Several Soviet architects envisioned a future where everyone would live in a district which resembles the current 15-minute city concept. From 1975-1982, such an “experimental” complex emerged in the southern part of Moscow. All the residential buildings were connected with underground roads. The car parks were also underground, with car washes constructed at the entrances. It was intended that the yards would be traffic-free, providing unhindered access for emergency vehicles. Shops and services including a laundry were located on the ground floors, which were all connected. Children could walk to school via huge corridors without needing to go outside. The complex also had a vacuum waste management network.

It was planned that such districts would emerge in different parts of the Soviet capital. Unfortunately, the construction was too complicated, and the idea was scrapped.

The current online panic about 15-minute cities is related to a lack of awareness, says Associate Professor Ivan Mitin, from the HSE’s Faculty of Urban and Regional Development. In the modern world, contradictions are often used by politicians and the media for the sake of their own interests, while digital services are intensively surveilling citizens, he explains. So, people may be frightened by the initiatives, which affect their every-day life and which they don’t quite understand.

“It’s important to explain that the 15-minute cities concept should not be taken literally,” Mitin told RT. “The experience of the cities in Europe and Asia shows that it’s more about an intention to create multifunctional and comfortable city districts. Modern people are always on the run, they hurry home from work and back. They have no time to look closely at the district they live in, they think that there’s nothing interesting there and that entertainment can be found only downtown. The example of modern Moscow is quite demonstrative. It’s important to make people feel the uniqueness of their districts, so it will become their own desire to make the surrounding area as comfortable as possible.”

Valdai Club: Should We Claim We Truly Understand International Politics?

I ask myself the same question every day.

The Left and the Right

Canadian Dimension: Hugo Chávez’s vision of a communal future will inspire generations

Outside the Imperial Core

Naked Capitalism: The West Goes After LNG in Mozambique Despite Regional Violence That Has Displaced Close to a Million People

The messy reconfiguration of energy supply chains following Europe’s severance from Russia continues, and it has the West pushing ahead at all costs – even funding much of fighting in a resource-rich region of Mozambique.

France’s Totalenergies is moving forward with efforts to get a Mozambique LNG project back on track despite serious concerns over violence and human rights abuses in the region. The project was mothballed back in early 2021 due to violence, but is now expected to restart this summer.

Mozambique’s natural gas reserves are the third largest in Africa after Algeria and Nigeria, and if all the deposits are tapped, the country could become one of the world’s ten biggest gas exporters. Much of the reserves were discovered in the Muslim-majority northern province of Cabo Delgado back in 2010.