The Imperial Core


Since 2015, the EU has increasingly demanded that African states repress migration on its behalf. It secures their compliance through economic coercion — exploiting debt relations which have in recent times sharply turned in favor of rich EU countries.J

The EU’s Efforts to Silence Hungary Show How NATO Objectives Continue to Eclipse Any Pretense of European Democracy.NC Ignore the title; Orban and his fascist ilk deserve all the shit they get from the EU and NATO, and vice versa. The article does discuss what’s going on there nowadays though.

The European Union’s decision to ban exports of plastic waste in and outside Europe is threatening to collapse the market for the collection and recycling of plastic packaging, Belgian industry association Valipac has warned.E

While only around a third of the world’s rivers remain free-flowing, according to the campaign group International Rivers, the situation is worse in Europe, where the number of ‘wild’ or free-flowing rivers continue to dwindle.E


Australia: Australian COVID surge the worst in at least six months.WSWS Alcoa to shut down West Australian alumina refinery, destroying more than 1,000 jobs.WSWS

A spokesperson for Alcoa said on Wednesday that the Kwinana closure was based on “a variety of factors including its age, scale, operating costs and current bauxite grades,” as well as “current market conditions.”

Belgium: Belgian prime minister meets Xi Jinping in Beijing, vows to oppose decoupling. Alexander De Croo also holds discussions with Premier Li Qiang and says on X that ‘China and the EU remain important partners in tackling many of the global challenges’.SCMP

Canada: Québec Workers Conduct Largest Strike Ever.LN

France: The director of French farming union FNSEA backed the ongoing farmer protests across the border in Germany, adding that while the root causes of the protests are the same, the particulars of the disputes differ across the countries’ borders.E France appoints youngest-ever, first openly gay Prime Minister.MP

Germany: Germany wrestles with calls to ban AfD – again.E They’re polling at 22%! Good fucking lord. I hope they do try and ban them obviously, but I doubt they actually would, and it doesn’t solve the problem as to why people want to vote for fascists in the first place. Germany really is just totally fucked right now honestly. Train drivers in Germany strike for better wages and shorter working hours.WSWS Floods in Germany: Desperate farmers fight to save harvests.DW

A difficult year, not least because the German government’s austerity measures have resulted in the abolition of tax breaks for agricultural diesel, as well as for agricultural and forestry vehicles. The floods have now dealt farmers a second blow in a very short space of time.

Germany emitted in 2023 the lowest amount of carbon dioxide in some 70 years, a new study has shown, as Europe’s largest economy strives to reduce its dependence on coal.DW This is like saying “Starving population cuts down on food waste by record amount as they strive to reduce dependence on meat.” Wait, hang on:

Deindustrialisation in Germany dramatically reduces emissions in 2023.BNE Thanks for the backup, BNE.

Germany led the way in reducing emissions in 2023, but the fall had more to do with the dramatic deindustrialisation due to the effects of the war in Ukraine and soaring energy costs than it did with green policies.

Some of Germany’s most influential business and green lobbying groups have joined forces to urge Berlin to quickly adopt a carbon management strategy in order to kickstart the country’s industrial transformation.E lol.

Italy: Insorgiamo: The story of how workers of an Italian factory are creating history.MR Clara Mattei readers getting real deja-vu right now.

Over these years ridden with scorching attacks of global finance capital marked with austerity and ‘slave’ labor, grassroots mobilization and solidarity were two major pillars of working-class organization and resistance.

It is in this context that the fightback by the workers of the former GKN factory in Campi Bisenzio near Florence in Italy against layoffs and plant closure, which has been on for more than 900 days, has created history. The movement has generated a path-breaking alternative that seeks to buy back the plant by raising a million euros through solidarity crowdfunding initiative.

As of January 5, GKN Florence Workers—Factory Collective has received over EUR 600,000 (USD 657,360) as popular shareholding from individuals, community groups, cooperatives, and workers collectives within Italy and abroad.

Japan: Japan tries, again, to stop its universities from sliding down global rankings.S

New Zealand: Concerns are rising for peace and sovereignty in the Pacific after strong signals from New Zealand’s new government that it wants to swiftly join the U.S.-led military alliance AUKUS.MR This is interesting as New Zealand - at least to me - seemed like one of the last Western nations that actually genuinely engages with China on both the political and economic level, rather than merely the latter. A New Zealander would have to tell me to what extent the new government won because of living standards falling like everywhere else, making the ruling party less popular, versus foul play and propaganda from the US.

Norway: Norwegian lawmakers greenlighted deep-sea mining exploration around the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard on Tuesday (9 January), a world first that has raised concerns among environmental groups.E

South Korea: South Korea’s opposition party leader stabbed in neck, suspect arrested.CGTN

‘Provocation’: Seoul says North Korean drills along disputed sea border violate military agreement.EN

Spain: An average of 18 migrants a day, or a total of 6,618, lost their lives trying to reach Spanish shores, a figure that almost tripled compared to the 2,390 deaths recorded in 2022, a report by the NGO Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders) revealed on Tuesday.E

United Kingdom: Two-thirds of English housebuilding fund unspent despite homes crisis.FT UK grocery price inflation falls at fastest rate on record, research finds.FT

Record-breaking doctors’ strike piles pressure on England’s health service.E Junior doctors in England have said they are willing to accept a 35 per cent pay rise over “a number of years”, opening the door to ending months of strike action as they began the longest walkout in NHS history.FT

The UK’s consumption of cattle products, cocoa, palm oil and soy is putting enormous pressure on forests around the world.E

Ministers have launched plans for the biggest expansion of nuclear power in 70 years, including a new power station as big as Hinkley C and Sizewell C.E This is the same country that just failed to build a fucking railway extension. I officially bet £100 that not a single part of this plan will ever be built.

United States: U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review Trump’s Colorado ballot eligibility.PD Governor Abbott deploys Texas National Guard to patrol border, supplanting US Border Patrol.WSWS The indications by the US Federal Reserve that it is moving towards interest rate cuts may have boosted Wall Street, at least temporarily. However, they have done nothing to alleviate the mounting crisis for banks arising from debts in the commercial property market which have to be refinanced in the coming period.WSWS Anti-Chinese laws take a toll in Florida even as Ron DeSantis falters in his presidential run.SCMP

A new report released Tuesday from the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association found that although water quality has generally improved in the upper river in past decades, new threats, such as road salt and lead, are emerging.IM

Mutual Aid Inside: How Incarcerated Communities Survive Together.SP Can $3 billion persuade Black farmers to trust the USDA?.IM Massachusetts Teachers Illegal Strike Wave Rolls On.LN

Spilling Bill’s beans: Tech billionaire spent $113 million on Nebraska farmland.IM But China! Google, Amazon start off new year with job cuts, as corporations plan to use AI to slash workforces.WSWS

Steelworkers oppose U.S. Steel’s sale to Nippon, unconvinced new owners will honor obligations.PW

The Semi-Periphery


Iran and Russia have officially abandoned the US dollar for mutual settlements after the countries finalized an agreement to trade in the ruble and the rial, Iranian news agency IRNA reported this week. The agreement was sealed during a meeting in Russia between the heads of the central banks of the two countries, the outlet said.RT

Russia’s gas exports to China were nearly 50% higher in 2023 than they were the previous year, energy giant Gazprom has revealed.RT

China’s exports to the United States suffered their deepest decline in 2023 in almost three decades, as Washington’s efforts at reshoring and “friendshoring” supply chains create diversions. Total shipments from China to the US last year fell by 13.1 per cent compared to a year earlier, to US$500.3 billion, according to China customs data released on Friday.SCMP They’re just going to middlemen before being re-exported to the US. Unless like, we’re now of the belief that you can create matter out of nothing. Or entire factory chains in a year or two.


Albania: Albania to create anti-corruption ministry in quest for EU accession.BNE

Argentina: The Argentine Government of President Javier Milei has authorized the export of seven “popular cuts” of beef which had been banned from sales abroad under Alberto Fernández.MP Milei’s radical reform suffers first legal setback after court suspends labor chapter.MP A top court in Argentina has suspended a package of labour reforms involving more than 300 measures, announced by the country’s new president, Javier Milei.EN Argentina and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finalized the details of an agreement over the country’s embattled $44 billion loan program, unlocking a more-than-expected $4.7 billion, the fund said on Wednesday.CGTN

Argentine Foreign Minister Diana Mondino met Friday with Chinese Ambassador Wang Wei. During the encounter, both diplomats agreed on the importance of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed between the two countries ten years ago, and reaffirmed the principle of one China in reference to Taiwan’s separatism. However, there was no mention of the currency swap worth US$ 6.5 billion Argentina was expecting to receive.MP lol.

Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan, host of next year’s COP climate summit, is set to boost its gas production by a third over the next decade, with fossil fuel companies forecast to spend $41.4 billion on the country’s gas fields.CD

Norway’s national oil company Equinor has announced that it has sold its shares in two Azerbaijani oil fields and the Baku Tbilisi Ceyhan oil pipeline to Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR and will exit from Azerbaijan after 30 years in the country.EN

Belarus: Lukashenko grants ex-presidents immunity with a change to the constitution.BNE Authoritarianism?! That’s it. Lukashenko, you are cancelled.

Brazil: On Wednesday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry ratified Brazil’s support for Argentina in its territorial disputes with the United Kingdom.TS Not even Milei can get in the way of that 200-year tradition of wanting the UK to fuck off. FPSO Sepetiba begins production at Petrobras’ third largest oil field off Brazil.MP Deforestation alerts in the Amazon fell by 50% in 2023, according to a report from the Deter system released Friday by Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE), with data collected until Dec. 29 in an area of 5,152 km². It was the lowest rate since 2018, it also explained. In 2022, the alerts had registered 10,278 km² of deforested areas, the highest level ever.MP

China: Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) clocked in at 50.8 in December, the highest level in four months, marking a steady climb following the country’s emphasis on pro-growth measures.CGTN China’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 49 in December, down from 49.4 in November.GT China’s services activity expanded at the fastest pace in five months thanks to a solid rise in new business, a private-sector survey showed.SCMP China’s primary sector workforce sees first increase in decades as migrants back on the farm. Depressed urban job market, pandemic controls prompted rural migrants to return to hometowns, altering labour share.SCMP China’s foreign trade grows 0.2% in 2023, a ‘hard-won achievement’ amid headwinds.GT

More than 660,000 hectares of forests and grasslands have been planted since China’s latest desertification control efforts were launched in the second half of 2023, as part of China’s Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program.CGTN China nurtures indigenous seed industry to reduce import reliance, secure food supply.SCMP

China’s battle against corruption set new records last year, with the ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog launching probes into 45 senior officials.SCMP

China’s automobile industry has set a new record, with both production and sales exceeding 30 million units for the first time, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). … With exports making up 4.91 million units, up 58 percent from the previous year, China is poised to become the world’s top automobile exporter.CGTN

Taiwan on Wednesday slammed China’s decision to study measures to suspend tariff concessions on more Taiwanese imports after the mainland scrapped preferential tariffs on a dozen chemical products from the island from the start of the year. … the self-ruled democracy expressed “strong dissatisfaction and condemnation,” accusing China of using the economy and trade as a “weapon” to exert pressure on Taiwan.B Oh, as opposed to literal sanctions placed on China by the US? I don’t know if they’re being obtuse on purpose or if they really are just dipshits. If tariffs are a weapon, then every country on the planet is at war with every other country.

Czechia: November industrial production in Czechia decreased by 2.7% year on year and by 1.4% month on month, the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) reported.BNE

India: Bhadrakumar’s latest piece, focussing on Russia-India ties and how they’ve been improving further lately. Also seems to be possibilities for the China-India relationship to improve a little, as the US is letting India’s good relationship with Russia (and India’s targetting of activists in the US and Canada) get in the way of a stronger QUAD. But mostly this is all for the benefit of India-Russia.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promotion of tourism on an Indian island chain has sparked a row with the Maldives after senior officials from that country accused Modi of being a “puppet of Israel”.MEE

Iran: Iran signed a groundbreaking free trade agreement with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union on December 25.BNE

Mexico: Members of the board at Mexico’s central bank, also known as Banxico, have underscored the importance of a gradual approach to any interest rate cut were to take place early in 2024, Mexico Business reported on January 5.BNE

Russia: Data on manufacturing activity in Russia during December has shown the fastest pace of growth in almost seven years, spurring job creation to a three-month high.RT Russia’s manufacturing PMI reaches seven-year high.BNE

Slovakia: Fears that Slovakia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal could end up as a stranded investment are reinforced by experts who warn that too much LNG infrastructure is being built as fossil fuels are phased out and that there is likely to be a surplus on the market after 2030.E

Turkiye: Turkey’s headline manufacturing PMI ticked up to 47.4 in December from 47.2 in November, but continued to point to a moderation of business conditions in the manufacturing sector as 2023 drew to a close, S&P Global said on January 2.BNE

Uruguay: Inflation in Uruguay during the year 2023 amounted to 5.1%, it was reported in Montevideo. The South American country’s lowest rate in 18 years was achieved mainly thanks to prices reasonably stable in household goods, transportation, and communications.MP

The Periphery


The 294.2 million-U.S.-dollar rehabilitation project of the Kariba Dam wall is now 80 percent complete, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) said Wednesday.CGTN On the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

As French embassy closes in Niger, West Africa charts a new course.CD

And just like that, the gas swap arrangement between Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan has ground to a halt. …A government source in Baku has told the Trend news agency that the plan was for Azerbaijan to buy up to three billion cubic metres of gas from Turkmenistan in 2024, but that the sides could not come to an agreement on the commercial terms.BNE

Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and president of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), sent messages of sympathy over the deadly bombings in Iran and earthquake in Japan respectively on Friday.CGTN


Afghanistan: Trade between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan in 2023 increased sixfold year-on-year, hitting $266 million.EN

Burkina Faso: In response to the recent ECOWAS Commission statement expressing concern about the “deterioration of the security situation” in Burkina Faso, the Transition Government has firmly addressed the issues raised.AN

Colombia: 95 massacres of Colombian social leaders took place in 2023.TS

DRC: A state of humanitarian emergency has been announced in the Republic of Congo, following flooding caused by heavy rains that’s been pouring for over a month.AN DR Congo experiencing worst flooding in 60 years.AN

Gold, diamonds, tin, coltan, cobalt; these are the blood of the modern electronics industry. Each is bought with human blood in the Congo. The modern world as we know it is built on these minerals. If you make a phone call, look at a website, or watch television; if you start your car, or turn on your Ring doorbell, or play your Switch, you’ve touched a piece of electronics that incorporates something mined by hand under the grueling conditions of semi-slavery in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.RC

Ecuador: More Signs of War in South America, As Ecuadorian Government Declares “Internal Armed Conflict” With Drug Cartels.NC Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa Friday said his government would be accepting the military cooperation offered by Argentina and the United States among other countries because the situation did not allow for egos to stand in the way.MP

Eritrea: A bulk carrier delivering 25,000 tons of free grain to Eritrea was received in the port of Massawa by Russia’s ambassador to the country, Igor Mozgo, on Thursday.RT

Haiti: The visa programs of Canada and the United States are insufficient, hence approximately 33,000 Haitians have crossed the Darien jungle this year, with the aim of reaching the US.TS The food situation in Haiti is now described as alarming, with some 8.2 million people facing difficulties in accessing basic commodities.TS

Guatemala: Guatemala’s president-elect, Bernardo Arévalo de León, will take office on January 14 with high expectations for radical change. It remains to be seen if his ambitious plan will succeed, but for the time being, any of decisions will be a step forward in a country that is 44% Mayan and where more than 50 percent of the population lives in conditions of extreme poverty.R

Guinea: Guinea — one of the world’s poorest countries — has become a crucial player in the ‘clean’ energy transition but must be careful that bauxite and iron ore mining do not destroy its natural habitats.BNE

The West Africa country has 23% of the world’s reserves of bauxite, the primary aluminium ore, and accounts for 24% of global bauxite production (other major producers include Australia, China, Brazil and Indonesia). Bauxite is the most active mining sector in Guinea, accounting for 25.5% of its exports in 2020. The country exported around 86.5m metric tonnes (mt) of the ore in 2021, making it the world’s largest bauxite exporter.

Guinea is the biggest supplier of bauxite to China, the world’s top producer of aluminium — around 80% of its bauxite exports were destined to China in 2022. China has invested heavily in Guinea’s inland logistics, as well as transhippers and floating terminals, to enable almost all the cargo to be carried by capesize tonnage.

Kazakhstan: Two years after the tragic unrest of January 2022 that resulted in 200 deaths, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev described the events as an attempted coup organised by a “group of high-ranking officials” with the help of “terrorists who arrived from outside”.E

Kazakhstan has raised the tariff on the transit of Russian oil by some 20% from January 1.RT Oil workers persist with protest, government ignores.EN Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Water Resources is engaging in negotiations with China over water usage of the region’s increasingly stressed rivers. Astana has established a 20-member working group to haggle with Chinese officials over a water-distribution framework covering approximately 20 cross-border rivers, including the Irtysh and Ili.EN The easing of the COVID-related sanitary regime at Chinese customs crossings enabled Kazakhstan to quadruple the amount of agricultural goods it exported to the country in 2023 as compared to a year earlier.EN

Kenya: Kenya will continue to spend heavily in restoring vandalised critical infrastructure due to the government’s failure to enforce a ban on scrap metals exports, an Africa-focused think tank has warned. The Institute of Security Studies (ISS) reckons that players in the scrap metal industry have been colluding to fuel the illicit trade of exports despite a ban imposed in 2022 to safeguard essential infrastructure from vandalism.BNE

Maldives: China and the Maldives elevated their bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership on Wednesday.CGTN Maldives’ president vows greater cooperation with China on infrastructure projects.SCMP

Mongolia: Mongolia’s exports are 90%-dependent on natural resource extraction. In October 2023, during a state visit to France, Mongolian President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh signed a landmark agreement that paved the way for a $1.7bn investment by French government-owned Orano Mining. The agreement allows Orano to establish Mongolia’s first uranium mining and processing venture. For Mongolia’s landlocked economy, mining partnerships are strategic tools for foreign policy endeavours.BNE

Myanmar: China and Myanmar vow to maintain border security as rebels claim victory in northern Shan state.SCMP

Nicaragua: The Free Trade Agreement between China and Nicaragua has come into effect, two years after both countries reestablished diplomatic relations and two weeks after elevating them to a “strategic partnership” level.B

Panama: Panamanian farmers reject the Indio River reservoir. They also demand the creation of a technical commission for the closure of Minera Panama.TS

Papua New Guinea: On Wednesday simmering social discontent, driven by escalating living costs, erupted into chaos, looting and arson in Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) capital Port Moresby and elsewhere, after police and armed services personnel walked out and protested over persistent shortages in their pay.WSWS

Paraguay: Paraguayan pork exports record significant increase.MP US farmers and beef lobbies want to stop the import of fresh meat from Paraguay.MP

Philippines: Philippine Senator Imee Marcos has demanded an explanation from the government and military for the shipment of millions of gallons of fuel by the U.S. Navy to Subic Bay in the Southeast Asian country.PD

Senegal: Senegal’s Supreme Court on Friday rejected opposition leader Ousmane Sonko’s appeal against a libel conviction, potentially ending his hopes of competing in next month’s presidential election.AN

Somalia: Somalia has rejected an agreement on port access signed by Somaliland and Ethiopia, claiming the deal had no legal authority.RT A new deal granting landlocked Ethiopia access to the Berbera Port holds potential for a huge upheaval in the Horn of Africa. What does it mean for the breakaway region of Somaliland?.DW

Sri Lanka: Thousands of Sri Lankan electricity workers hold three-day anti-privatisation protest, defying government threats.WSWS Amid signs of a COVID surge, Sri Lankan government blocks testing and preventive measures.WSWS

Sudan: Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) says its arms are wide open to an immediate, and unconditional ceasefire through talks with the Sudanese army.AN

Thailand: Thailand and China plan to resume bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations this year despite Thailand’s mounting trade deficit with China of nearly US$30 billion.B

Uganda: Uganda to start building oil pipeline with pipes from China, as opposition mounts.SCMP

Venezuela: Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information Freddy Ñáñez stated that the Venezuelan government condemns the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court to ratify the dispossession of CITGO Petroleum Corporation.R

Global Institutions

With US President Joe Biden not able to make it to India in late January, a visit that was tied to the proposed Quad Summit, the exclusive clique’s high-profile grouping of the US, Japan, Australia and India is facing renewed crisis - the divergences among the four partners are coming more to the surface, while many observers question the real value of the Quad’s existence, although the elevation of the mechanism had been a central feature of Washington’s push to contain China.GT

Argentina’s snub of the Brics developing economies may further strain relations with China but the bloc has “dodged a bullet”, according to analysts.SCMP

The Second Cold War

2023 was the deadliest year in the last decade for media professionals, with at least 140 violent deaths of reporters in 28 countries.TS 81 of which were in Gaza.

In an age of forever wars, American popular culture has reimagined its veterans as victims rather than agents of empire.MR

The “Ghost Budget”: How America pays for endless war.MR Essentially “Huh, it’s weird that America is financing its wars through debt rather than higher taxes or budget cuts.”

The United States is now claiming a vast portion of the ocean floor, twice the size of California. According to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Media Note released on December 19, the area “is approximately one million square kilometers spread across seven regions” and “holds many resources.”.MR

Alastair Crooke: The West’s narrative on its superiority has come to an end.CGTN

The US dollar’s share of global central bank reserves has continued to decrease, nosediving to 59.2% in the third quarter of 2023, according to the latest data released by the International Monetary Fund.RT

German arms exports, including to Europe, Israel and Ukraine, at record levels.WSWS German govt authorizes export of 150 Iris-T missiles to Saudi Arabia.CGTN


Russophrenia: The West can’t decide whether Russia is a pussycat or a lion.RT Essentially an article of somebody rediscovering the truth behind the Parenti quote.

The Russian Art of War: How the West led Ukraine to defeat.MR


Turkey denies passage to minehunter ships donated by UK to Ukraine.BNE


Russia’s Defense Ministry has published statistics detailing the aid supplied to Ukraine from abroad during the conflict with Russia. According to its figures, Kiev’s foreign backers together have spent more than $203 billion on assisting the government of President Vladimir Zelensky.RT

White House representative of the National Security Council John Kirby says that the US has run out of money for new military aid to send to Ukraine and won’t get more unless Congress approves the draft $61bn package.BNE

Britain’s Sunak, in Ukraine, announces increase in military aid.E

Polish farmers from the Oszukana Wies (Betrayed Countryside) protest group reinstated their blockade of the Poland-Ukraine border crossing in Medyka on January 4.BNE

Russia’s biggest LNG producer Novatek warned customers that it would not be able to meet all its delivery obligations in 2024 due to a force majeure caused by sanctions imposed on the development of its Arctic LNG-2 project by the US, Bloomberg reports.BNE


Most German tanks given to Ukraine no longer working.RT ‘Not clear’ what Ukraine is doing with American tanks – Forbes.FT

Russian hackers were inside Ukraine telecoms giant for months – cyber spy chief.E

NATO has announced plans to help Germany and several other member nations purchase as many as 1,000 Patriot missiles to bolster European air defenses as Russia ramps up airstrikes against Ukrainian cities.RT

BAE to restart M777 howitzer production as Ukraine war ignites demand.FT



Chip industry giant ASML blocked by US, Netherlands from shipping equipment to China ahead of export deadline.SCMP


Kinetic energy weapon can break an American tank apart with a single shot: Chinese study.SCMP


From Beirut to Baghdad, Israel’s war is already spinning out of control.PW Article written before Yemen was bombed.

What Blood Libel Is – and What It Isn’t.RC


Israel’s top court rejects key part of Netanyahu’s reforms.DW

Turkey: Police arrest 33 alleged Mossad spies in nationwide sweep.MEE

Jewish-Led Protest Demanding Gaza Cease-Fire Shuts Down California Capitol.SP UK protesters demonstrate at weapons factories and demand “Stop Arming Genocide”.WSWS Seattle shutdown: Palestinian solidarity action paralyzes freeway for hours.PW


McDonald’s franchises in the Middle East have experienced a “meaningful business impact” in 2023 from boycotts associated with the Gaza conflict, the fast-food giant’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski has said.RT

Iran’s navy seizes American oil tanker in the waters of Oman Sea.CGTN


Israel’s starvation campaign in Gaza is so severe that the vast majority of people across the world who are experiencing famine are located in Gaza, a UN food expert pointed out this week.RNN Gaza death toll tops 30,000, as US escalates wider Middle East war.WSWS ‘Truly Shocking’: Daily Gaza Death Rate Shatters That of All Other 21st Century Wars.SP

Israel says it will withdraw troops from Gaza strip.AN

Iranian warship enters Red Sea as tensions soar.DW Iran deploys navy to Red Sea.RT

US draws up plan to attack mainland Yemen as Middle East spirals into war.WSWS Amid Fears of Wider War, US Reportedly Drafting Plans to Bomb Yemen.SP US ‘low-cost’ warning to Houthi militia has little impact on settling Red Sea crisis.GT The US/UK attack on Yemen and the global eruption of imperialist war.WSWS

At least 130 people have been killed in two explosions near the cemetery where former Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani is buried, according to local Iranian officials cited by state media.MEE

US secretly prolongs military base deal with Qatar; American troops will remain in the Gulf state for at least another decade.RT

Various Analyses

CLR James and George Padmore: Hidden Disputes in The Black Radical Tradition.ROAPE

On CLR James’ 123rd birthday, Matthew Quest examines the collaboration between James and George Padmore since their partnership within the International African Service Bureau in the 1930s. Despite their joint activism in Pan-African affairs, political rifts emerged on democracy, socialism, and revolutionary strategy. Quest looks at James’ portrayal of Padmore to highlight the political tensions underlying their friendship. James’ and Padmore’s different perspectives on anti-imperialism reveals hidden disputes in the Black radical tradition.

‘She Who Struggles: Revolutionary Women Who Shaped the World’ – book review.MR

Why I believe what I believe about the Chinese Revolution: The Second Newsletter (2024).MR


Impacts for half of the world’s mining areas are undocumented.N

Three-quarters of prizes at the UK’s top sustainable advertising awards went to agencies who work for the fossil fuel industry, a DeSmog analysis has revealed.DS

The United States and Europe can no longer compete with China, after the cost of producing solar modules there dropped by 42% in 2023 to $0.15 (€0.14) per watt.DW

A recent UNESCO study on protected glaciers around the world highlights the particularly severe impact of climate change on the Arctic region, where glacier and ice cap melting is generally faster than in the Antarctic.BNE

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a major report on the process of moving to renewables that found the world’s renewable capacity was up by half in 2023 and is currently growing at the fastest pace ever. But the agency warned that despite the gains, the pace needs to accelerate even more if the Paris Accord targets are to be met.BNE

The ocean temperatures in 2023 have once again shattered records, and the warming trend will persist throughout this century, even if greenhouse gas emissions were to be halted, according to a new study.PD


Geopolitical Economy Hour on debt, both in the US and around the world, and what neoliberalism has to do with it.

Davos report highlights deepening capitalist crisis.WSWS

China Wants To Ditch The Dollar.NOEMA

Nothing here that is terribly new. Some good info in here though I disagree on some parts; we’ve discussed why China would be very reluctant to replace the dollar with the yuan, for instance. An important part that the article very nicely explains is how Russia, China, and Iran aren’t really going “on the offensive” to take down the dollar; their actions are mostly defensive instead, in order to better survive present and future sanctions. So perhaps it’s best to judge dedollarization progress not in terms of “How much has US power gone down across the planet this year,” but instead “How much financial power does the US hold over Russia/China/Iran/etc and is it less than last year?” This obviously doesn’t help the global periphery much yet, but y’know, one step at a time when you need to bring down the global hegemonic power.

Status of US Dollar as Global Reserve Currency and USD Exchange Rates: Long, Slow, Uneven Decline Continues.NC

22-23% of maritime-traded goods between non-neighbouring countries pass through the Red Sea, more specifically its chokepoints Bab-el-Mandeb and the Suez Canal. Other estimates even put the share of seaborne cargo passing through the area as high as 30%.BNE And like, those parts being missing or late have knock-on effects on the rest of industry. If you need 50 components to make a machine, and 3 of those components come from late shipping that needs to go around Africa, then it doesn’t matter if you have the other 47 components - you can’t build the machine. So entire processes just stop.

ASSA 2024 part one: the mainstream: growth uncertainty, inflation confusion, climate paralysis.

ASSA 2024 part two – the radical sessions: imperialism, profitability and climate change

Dipshittery and Cope:

Advanced machinery imports from China to Russia soar tenfold, Russia’s technology remains impossibly far behind that of the West.BNE

Which explains why the West is winning in Ukraine. …wait, hang on…


Content Warning - this is usually not good news.

Greece to legalize same-sex marriage after opposition agrees to support it.A

Indiana Republican introduces bill that would erase transgender people and deny marriage equality.A

Gender dysphoria diagnoses in the United States increased in all but one state in recent years, suggesting that a growing number of transgender people are seeking health care.A

Estonia became the first former Soviet republic to legalize gay marriage on Monday, opening marriage applications to same-sex couples with the new year.RT

I Love My Trans Comrades!