TeleSUR: Putin Calls West Media Reports on Nord Stream Blasts “Nonsense”
“I am sure that this is complete nonsense,” Putin said considering that “such an explosion, with such power, at such a depth, can only be carried out by specialists, and supported by the full power of a state, possessing certain technologies.”
TeleSUR: Russia’s Unemployment Rate Drops to Record Low: Putin
Naked Capitalism: Rosneft Refinery in Schwedt Continues to Be a Microcosm of Europe’s Sanctions-Induced Energy Mess
Open Democracy: How the government went to war on refugee charities
Charity workers told openDemocracy they had identified multiple occasions where inflammatory comments by ministers and MPs triggered a deluge of hate towards them. The remarks, blaming charities and human rights lawyers for delays in the asylum system, have led to staff having their addresses made public and being harassed in the street.
Monthly Review: Leftist parties intensify campaign to maintain Swiss neutrality
TeleSUR: Volkswagen Pins High Hopes on China Market
I wouldn’t get too attached to it.
East Asia and Oceania
Global Times: China’s financial market remains stable despite global shockwaves caused by SVB collapse
Global Times: China steps up measures to boost ‘insufficient’ demand; ‘deflation’ claims baseless
Global Times: Localities ramp up digital infrastructure construction, transformation in China
In the latest move, Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region unveiled a “1244+N” action plan on Tuesday to promote the construction of digital infrastructure upgrading projects in western China. This includes building 2,000 new local 5G base stations, bringing the total to 12,000.
The plan also vowed to accelerate the development of data center clusters, to build five super-large data centers, and bring the output value of the digital information industry to 85 billion yuan ($12.36 billion) within this year.
Authorities in East China’s Anhui Province, will promote the digital transformation of 5,000 manufacturing enterprises above designated size in key industries and 30,000 digital applications of manufacturing enterprises below designated size this year, according to a report from chinanews.com on Monday.
Central Asia and the Middle East
MEMO: 1,000 Israel writers urge Germany, Britain to cancel Netanyahu’s visit
MEMO: Syria President Assad arrives in Moscow, will meet Putin
The Cradle: Syrian sanctions relief: An ‘American trick’
The temporary lifting of Washington’s sanctions on earthquake-stricken and war-torn Syria is ‘misleading’ at best, and stands in the way of relief efforts.
Africa News: Guinea opposition and government resume contact
Representatives of the Forces Vives, a coalition of the main parties, trade unions and non-governmental organisations, agreed to meet Prime Minister Bernard Goumou under the auspices of religious leaders.
Africa News: Egypt: President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Danish PM hold talks in Cairo
The pair held talks in the Egyptian capital Cairo where they discussed various issues including concerns around illegal immigration and how to confront it. El-Sissi stressed his country was “keen not to be a crossing point” for people looking to get to Europe illegally.
Africa News: Nigeria’s old currency can be used longer amid cash crisis
Nigeria’s central bank has extended the timeline to swap out its old currency for redesigned notes after the change triggered a cash shortage, forcing businesses to close and leaving millions unable to withdraw their money.
Al Mayadeen: Meta to close 5,000 jobs, fire 10,000 workers in ‘year of efficiency’
Monthly Review: Silicon Valley Bank collapses, the bailout has begun
StatNews: Biden administration to fine manufacturers of 27 medicines for price hikes
StatNews: West Nile, Lyme, and other diseases are on the rise with climate change. Experts warn the U.S. is not prepared
Jacobin: Climate-Fueled Displacement Is Already Happening in the United States
Climate change–fueled displacement is often thought of as a future problem, or one that primarily affects people in developing countries. But natural disasters caused or exacerbated by the climate crisis are already frequently displacing people within the US.
Resumen: Climate Change: Cuba’s Fight Against Extreme Drought
Currently, the island-nation is facing an unprecedented drought. The National Institute of Meteorology and authorities of the ministries and entities associated with the country’s water resources and the environment are not downplaying the situation: the drought is extreme, and Cubans from the east to the west of the island are feeling its consequences.
Al Mayadeen: Honduras severs ties with Taiwan to boost China relations
Honduras recognizing the One-China policy and severing ties with Taipei meant that Taiwan has become only recognized by 13 countries.
TeleSUR: Argentina Reports 6.6% Inflation in February
The War Against The West
Naked Capitalism: Why China Is Unlikely to Invade Taiwan
The article that Yves links to is extraordinarily derisive of China’s chances in a conflict like this, seemingly drinking the American kool-aid that China couldn’t POSSIBLY contest the combined might of the American Navy and Taiwan’s army! That this is most of the reason why the article dismisses that a Chinese invasion will take place in 2025, or 2027, or whenever is rather worrying. It also suggests that China won’t do it because of the sanctions which have brought Russia to its knees (they’re so far gone that the West is projecting positive growth for the Russian economy this yea– wait, what?) And it doesn’t mention the word “blockade” even once. Yves also points this out. Nonetheless, the point is that the idea that Xi will order an invasion very soon is getting some pushback.
AntiWar: Is a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan Imminent?
News flash! Ten thousand Marines and other U.S. troops recently invaded southern California and captured Twentynine Palms in the Mojave Desert — 1,200 square miles of desert seized! Oh, wait, my mistake! Those were just a series of war games in which U.S. bases took the place of islands in the Pacific, while our military began preparing to fight its next war against… yes, China. Meanwhile, tensions with that country continue to rise as Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy plays out his own war scenario by inviting Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to meet him in California. (If you think the Chinese went nuts over former House leader Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, just wait for this one!)
Yes, imagine (as Michael Klare has already done) that the U.S. military is now preparing to fight an updated version of World War II in the Pacific, island by island, with the Chinese military. How cheery! Indeed, the Marines are planning to retrofit several regiments for just such an island campaign, equipping them with new anti-ship missiles and drones, while renaming them “littoral” (no not literal, but as in islands and shorelines) regiments.
Global Times: China expected to prepare for AUKUS nuclear submarine program with underwater buildups
Al Mayadeen: Russia denies downing US Reaper, Pentagon declines disclosing if armed
The Russian Defense Ministry denied US allegations and said its fighter jets did not come into contact with the US MQ-9 drone that crashed into the Black Sea earlier, pointing out that the drone crashed due to “sharp maneuvering”.
Earlier, the US European Command claimed that a Russian fighter jet dumped fuel on an American drone over the Black Sea and then collided with it, causing the drone to crash. The White House called the crash a result of “reckless” behavior by Russia.
Retrospectives, History, Theory, and Technology
Geopolitical Economy: Michael Hudson: Why the US bank crisis is not over
Economist Michael Hudson argues banks like Silicon Valley Bank have behaved in a selfish and greedy way, yet get de facto US government bailouts, while regulatory capture and campaign contributions prevent the systemic change needed to stop these crises.
Naked Capitalism: Silicon Valley Bank Fallout Nudges World’s Most Troubled Systemic Lender, Credit Suisse, Closer to Edge
The shares of Credit Suisse Group AG, the world’s most troubled systemic lender, fell by as much as 15% on Monday (March 13) to another fresh record low, before recovering slightly in the latter hours of trading. They are down a further 4% so far today (12pm CET, March 14). This latest crisis of confidence in global banking has also fuelled a fresh surge in the cost of insuring CS’s bonds against default. The five-year credit default swaps on CS’ debt surged to a new record of 453 basis points on Monday. It was the widest move of 125 European high-grade companies tracked by Bloomberg.
Monthly Review: Challenging binary gender roles using Nkrumahism-Toureism-Cabralism
Responsible Statecraft: It was 20 years ago but the Iraq War folly could be our fate
Despite all we know about one of the worst US foreign policy blunders ever, with the right conditions, history is bound to repeat itself.
The Cradle: Sergey Glazyev: ‘The road to financial multipolarity will be long and rocky’
Outside the Imperial Core
Valdai Club: How Can Russia Make Its International Development Assistance More Effective?
On March 13, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to amend the Concept of Russia’s state policy in the field of international development assistance (IDA) concerning relations with developing countries. This Concept has been in force for almost nine years; it was approved by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 259, dated April 20, 2014 - and has been updated, taking into account new challenges and tasks facing Russia in the international arena.
Black Agenda Report: China’s Example of Leadership Injects Hope Into a World of Uncertainty
Contrary to the U.S. narrative, China’s leadership has injected confidence into a world of uncertainty and strife. In the field of global politics, China has demonstrated through concerted action just how serious it is about the cause of peace. The landmark diplomatic achievement between Saudi Arabia and Iran does not exist in a vacuum. It is part of China’s overall leadership role in the larger global movement to democratize international relations and move away from destructive hegemonism.
In this regard, China has both talked the talk and walked the walk. China has remained neutral and handled the world-altering Ukraine crisis in a manner consistent with international law. Rather than following the U.S. and the West in throwing fuel onto a fire with weapons sales and sanctions, China maintained relations with all sides and made itself available as a possible mediator for peace. This is consistent with China’s longstanding policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries. The world has been watching carefully as China has stood tall in opposing illegal and counterproductive Western-led sanctions, color revolutions, and aggressive militarism.
Circle of Blue: Perspective | How Water Partnerships Can Yield Better Results