This is an archived newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, consisting of headlines and weblinks, with occasional news summary and brief analysis, for the indicated month(s) and year. See the current, ‘World news’ website page here. To find past stories on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser. Headlines in red denote items published on the main news page of A Socialist In Canada, mostly authored by Roger Annis.
World news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, August 2019
Campesinos defending Hugo Chavez’s societal project: A conversation with Andres Alayo, published on Venezuela Analysis, Aug 31, 2019 For more than two months now, members of the Campesino Struggle Platform (Plataforma de Lucha Campesina), a Chavista organization bringing together small producers fighting for land rights, have been camping out in front of the Venezuelan Land Institute (INTI) in Caracas. There, dozens of campesinos are engaged in ongoing conversations about the situation of the country and the injustices that they face in rural areas. Andres Alayo is one of the key leaders of the Campesino Struggle Platform.
Major League Baseball breaks ties with Venezuelan baseball as it caves in to U.S. gov’t embargo, by Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis, Aug 26, 2019 All U.S.-based ball players, including Venezuelan nationals, are now barred from playing in Venezuela.
If Americans want to understand Israel, they should think of 1950s Alabama, with an air force, commentary by Yossi Gurvitz, Mondoweiss, Aug 29, 2019
China, U.S. kick off new round of tariffs in trade war, Reuters, Sunday Aug 31, 2019 The United States began imposing 15 per cent tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods on Sunday – including footwear, smart watches and flat-panel televisions – as China began imposing new duties on U.S. crude, the latest escalation in a bruising trade war… A new round of tariffs took effect from 0401 GMT (12:01 a.m. EDT), with Beijing’s levy of five per cent on U.S. crude marking the first time the fuel had been targeted since the world’s two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago… The Trump administration on Sunday began collecting 15 per cent tariffs on more than $125 billion in Chinese imports, including smart speakers, Bluetooth headphones and clothing… In retaliation, China started to impose additional tariffs on some of the U.S. goods on a $75 billion target list. Beijing did not specify the value of the goods that face higher tariffs from Sunday…
Related: Trump’s 15 per cent tariffs on $112B in Chinese goods take effect, The Associated Press, Sep 1, 2019
Is Elizabeth Warren talented enough to betray the people as masterfully as Obama?, by Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report, Aug 29, 2019
The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté demolishes embarrassing Russiagate retraction by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, story by Aaron Maté, broadcast on ‘Pushback’, Aug 30, 2019
Glenn Greenwald: ‘Russiagate skeptics are vindicated, but conspiracy theorists are rewarded’, interview with Glenn Greenwald, broadcast on ‘Pushback’, with host Aaron Maté, on The Grayzone, Aug 28, 2019
Germany remembers ‘Holocaust by bullets’ in Ukraine, Deutsche Welle, Aug 29, 2019 Between 1941 and 1944, German soldiers and police shot and killed more than 1 million Jews in Ukraine. The German government now wants to raise awareness of this chapter in history. [Hyoocrisy rules in Germany as that government continues its support to the post-2014 extreme-right government in Ukraine. The NATO-backed regime in Kyiv is re-writing history as it glorifies the anti-communist forces in Ukraine that collaborated with Nazi Germany and slaughtered Jews and other national minorities during WW2.] Related: German journalists demand more protection from far right, Deutsche Welle, Aug 29, 2019
Syrian army starts observing ceasefire in Idlib de-escalation zone, Press TV, Aug 31, 2019
Glenn Greenwald on the Amazon fires and the fight for Brazil’s future, interview with Glenn Greenwald, broadcast on ‘Pushback’, on The Grayzone, with host Aaron Maté, Aug 27, 2019 Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept discusses the record-setting Amazon forest fires, the struggle against Brazil’s far-right government, and how his reporting revealed to the world how all of this came about: a high-level plot that imprisoned Lula da Silva and prevented him from running in the last presidential election.
Dramatic resurgence’ in measles case in Europe, reports World Health Organization, Deutsche Welle, Aug 29, 2019 There has been a “dramatic resurgence” in measles cases in Europe, the World Health Organization said Thursday, urging countries to increase vaccination efforts and counter misinformation about the safety of vaccines. The WHO says there are nearly 90,000 cases of the highly contagious disease in 48 European countries in the first six months of 2019, almost double the number of cases reported for all of 2018…
Iran rejects talks with U.S. unless U.S. returns to nuclear deal, Press TV, Aug 28, 2019
* Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rules out talks with U.S., calling idea ‘unimaginable’ until sanctions lifted, IRNA News Agency, Aug 27, 2019
* Iranian president Rouhani to U.S.: First lift sanctions, then we can talk, Associated Press, Aug 27, 2019
* France’s plan to de-escalate tensions is being reviewed, says Iran presidential spokesperson, Radio Farda, Aug 27, 2019
* Iranian foreign minister holds talks in Beijing after surprise visit to G7 summit, South China Morning Post, Aug 26, 2019
* Iran slams Australia’s military intervention in Strait of Hormuz, by Adam Harvey, in Tehran, Middle East correspondent, ABC.net.au [Australia state broadcaster]
U.S.-China trade war is fueling the Amazon’s raging fires, by Irina Ivanova, CBS News, Aug 27, 2019 and read: Trump’s trade war against China linked to Amazon rainforest destruction, by Mary Papenfuss, HuffPost US, Aug 27, 2019 As U.S. soybeans sit in silos, Brazilian farmers push to break new ground to satisfy the Chinese market.
Are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren throwing a lifeline to the military-industrial complex?, by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas Davies, Common Dreams, Aug 26, 2019 Their pro-diplomacy worldview has blind spots. This creates a pretext for continuing U.S. militarism and risks undermining their commitment to peace.
The Hitler-Stalin Pact of August 23, 1939: Myth and reality, essay by Jacques R. Pauwels, published in CounterPunch, Aug 26, 2019
[In this otherwise informative historical essay, the author writes two highly debatable assertions. One, he describes the economic transformation of the Soviet Union during the 1930s thusly: “Starting in the early thirties, when the Great Depression ravaged the capitalist world, the Soviet Union experienced a kind of industrial revolution that allowed the population to enjoy considerable social progress. The country also became stronger, not only economically but also militarily.” Two, he argues that the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact (also known as the ‘Stalin-Stalin Pact’) signed on August 23, 1939 (Wikipedia) “provided the Soviet Union with the extra time and space that permitted its defences to be improved just enough to survive the onslaught when Hitler finally sent his dogs of war to the East in 1941. The Red Army suffered terrible losses but eventually managed to stop the Nazi juggernaut.” In fact, the Soviet people paid a very high social, economic and political price for the policies of forced-march industrialization and collectivization of agriculture that superceded the New Economic Policy begun in 1921 and forcibly ended in 1928. As to the consequences of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, these came under harsh scrutiny in the book June 22, 1941, written by Soviet historian Aleksandr Nekrich and published in the Soviet Union in 1965. (An English translation of that book is contained in June 22, 1941: Soviet Historians and the German Invasion, edited by Vladimir Petrov, published in 1968, available here and here.) The CounterPunch author does make an important refutation of the historical falsehood and slander that the Soviet government perpetrated a ‘famine genocide’ against the Ukrainian people in 1932-33. This slander is argued to this day by conservatives and the extreme-right in Ukraine and in Western countries; it is also peddled by present-day Trotskyists and other right-socialists.
[On August 23, Canada’s National Post daily published an anti-Russia propaganada commentary by one of its journlists peddling numerous falsehoods about the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It says the pact made World War Two “inevitable”. This covers up the years of appeasement of Nazi Germany by Western imperialist countries–including the self-proclaimed ‘neutrality’ of the U.S.–and it pretties up Nazi Germany by drawing an ‘equivalency’ between Nazi German aggression, on the one hand, and Soviet measures (for good or for bad, depending on one’s viewpoint) to avoid being a target of that aggression, on the other hand. This also ignores the mutual aggression taking place between the United States and Japan leading ‘inevitably’ to war, as matters turned out. The writer calls the pact “ostensibly a non-aggression agreement”. He and the editors at the National Post employ a clever ruse when the commentary writes that the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact was signed between “Germany and Russia”. But ‘Russia’ did not exist in 1939. The pact was signed between Germany and the Soviet Union. The Russian Federation, to use its correct name, came into being in 1991, following the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (called ‘Soviet Union’ for short) that same year.]
Amazon fires and climate change, report in Carbon Brief, Aug 27, 2019
* There’s no doubt that Brazil’s fires are linked to deforestation, scientists say, by Herton Escobar, Science Magazine, Aug. 26, 2019
* The Amazon fires are yet another sign that big agriculture is out of control in Brazil, by Jennifer Wells, business columnist, Toronto Star, Aug 28, 2019
Raging wildfires around the world, photo essay in Deutsche Welle, Aug 27, 2019 The severity of the wildfires in the Amazon have prompted a global outcry. But Brazil isn’t the only country struggling to contain out-of-control blazes. In fact, even more fires are currently burning in Central Africa.
G7 arsonists mount public relations exercise over Amazon forest fires, Aug 27, 2019. [The G7 countries meeting in France on August 24-26, 2019 have pledged some US$22 million to aid four Latin American countries battling forest fires in Amazonia–Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru. Canada will provide CAN$15M (US$11M) of the money. But the fires are caused by global industrial pillaging, including the destruction of Brazil’s Amazon forests at the service of global mining and agro-industry conglomerates. The capitalists of the G7 countries are the lead culprits in the pillaging. Meanwhile, on the immediacy of battling the fires currently burning, the $20 million that is pledged by the G7 is a pittance. By way of comparison, the cost of “wildfire suppression” in British Columbia, Canada in 2018 alone was $615 million (source).]
* Scientists raise alarms over forest fires in Amazon, by Julia Rosen, LA Times, Aug 26, 2019 (electronic version of article)
* The fires in Brazil’s Amazon: Interview with Emily Gilpan, Canadian journalist, and Alexander Zaitchik, U.S. journalist covering Latin America, broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s ‘The Current’ newsmagazine, Aug 26, 2019 (19 minute interview)
* Following days of ‘deflect and distract’ and as international outrage grows, Brazil gov’t begins half-hearted measures to fight Amazon fires, report on Telesur, Aug 26, 2019
* UN chief appeals to G7 leaders for ‘strong commitment’ and political will to tackle climate emergency, UN News, Aug 26, 2019
* Trump skips discussion of global warming by the six other G7 leaders at summit in France, Common Dreams, Aug 26, 2019
* Republican Party lobbyists help Brazil recruit U.S. companies to exploit the Amazon, by Lee Fang, The Intercept, Aug 23 2019
* The day the skies went dark over Sao Paolo, Brazil, by Brian Mier, Brasil Wire, Aug 20, 2019 …President Bolsonaro has gutted all federal environmental protection agencies and the bureau of indigenous affairs and has given clear signals out to the loggers, miners and ranchers who provide raw materials to northern markets that he will not punish them for environmental crimes, even those committed in nature reserves and on indigenous reservations.
* Amazon in danger of total destruction under Brazil’s right-wing president Bolsonaro, interview with Alexander Zaitchik, broadcast on The Real News Network, July 12, 2019 (15-minute interview. Alexander Zaitchik is an independent journalist covering Latin America.)
* Rainforest on fire: On the front lines of Bolsonaro’s war against the Amazon, Brazil’s forest communities fight against climate catastrophe, by Alexander Zaitchik, The Intercept, July 6, 2019
* Brazil’s Bolsonaro: ‘Exterminator of the future’, interview with Alexander Zaitchik, broadcast on The Real News Network, May 14, 2019 (ten-minute interview, with transcript)
* 82 per cent of Brazilians reject Bolsonaro’s Amazon mining plans, by Brian Mier, Brasil Wire, Aug 3, 2019
Media blackout in New York Times and Guardian over growing protests against Brazil’s far-right president, by Brian Mier, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR.org), Aug 17, 2019 (Brian Mier is the editor of the Europe-based Brasil Wire.)
Violent protests return in Hong Kong, New York Times, Aug 24, 2019
Related: Protesters’ plan to again block Hong Kong airport fails after too few protesters show up, South China Morning Post, Aug 24, 2019
The New York Times’ pathetic apology for Russiagate coverage failure, commentary by Jimmy Dore and Aaron Maté, broadcast on ‘The Jimmy Dore Show’ on YouTube, Aug 23, 2019 (50-minute broadcast) Comedian and social commentator Jimmy Dore and journalist Aaron Maté discuss this story: The New York Times unites against Twitter, by Ashley Feinberg, Slate Magazine, Aug 15, 2019 In a transcript of the New York Times’ recent crisis town-hall meeting of employees, executive editor Dean Baquet grapples with a restive staff and outside scrutiny.
Trump administration moving to indefinitely detain migrant children and their families, reversing 1997 federal court ‘Flores’ ruling putting a 20-day limit on migrant family detentions, interview with Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, broadcast on Democracy Now!, Aug 23, 2019 (with transcript)
Trump in tirade mode hikes tariffs further on $550bn of Chinese goods, blasts China’s ‘unfair’ response to earlier U.S. tariff rises, RT, Aug 23, 2019
* China hits back at Trump tariffs with announcement of higher tariffs commencing September 1, by Natalie Lung, James Mayger and Miao Han, Bloomberg News, Aug 23, 2019 and read: China responds to latest U.S. tariff hikes with new tariffs on U.S. goods worth $75 billion, Associated Press, Aug 23, 2019
* Trump ‘orders’ U.S. companies to ‘start looking for alternatives’ to China, CBS News, Aug 23, 2019
Interview with journalist John Pilger on the deteriorating world situation, broadcast on RT‘s weekly ‘Going Underground’ interview program, with host Afshin Rattansi, Aug 21, 2019 (28-minute interview)
YouTube axes anti-protest channels as U.S. Ministry of Truth battles China over Hong Kong, RT, Aug 23, 2019
Two articles in CounterPunch bemoan the lack of ‘action’ by Donald Trump to ‘help’ the people of Hong Kong, Aug 23, 2019:
1. China’s Hong Kong nightmare, and the U.S. response, by Mel Gurtov, Aug 23, 2019 Donald Trump has kept his promise, reportedly made to Xi Jinping in June, that Washington would “tone down” its comments on the spiraling HK protests. “Very tough situation” Trump tweeted on August 12. “I hope it works out for everybody, including China.” Memo to Trump: It won’t “work out” on its own, and you would do well to try something else if you don’t want to see a bloodbath there…
2. What China’s leadership is really worried about: Rising debt, by Tom Clifford, Aug 23, 2019 …The mass detention of members of the Uighur community in Xinjiang, designated an autonomous region, in China’s west, has not met with loud international criticism, even among Muslim countries. Consequently, Beijing feels it has a free hand and will not face any real repercussions. Providing Beijing can keep the army out of Hong Kong, it, too, should be manageable. Certainly Washington will not make waves…
Related: No, the UN did not report China has ‘massive internment camps’ for Uighur Muslims, by Ben Norton and Ajit Singh, The Grayzone, Aug 23, 2018 Media outlets falsely claimed the UN reported China is holding a million Uighurs in camps. The claim is based on unsourced allegations by an American commission member, U.S.-funded outfits, and a shadowy government-funded opposition group.
South Korea to scrap spying/intelligence-sharing pact with Japan amid dispute over history, Reuters, Aug 22, 2019 and read: South Korea to ditch military info-sharing pact with Japan amid trade fight, Yonhap News Agency, Aug 22, 2019
* South Korea vows countermeasures as Japan downgrades trade status, Associated Press, Friday, Aug 2, 2019 Japan’s Cabinet on Friday approved the removal of South Korea from a list of countries with preferential trade status, prompting retaliation from Seoul where a senior official summoned the Japanese ambassador and told him that South Koreans may no longer consider Japan a friendly nation…
* South Korea touts trade spat as chance to surpass Japan, news analysis by The Hankyoreh, Aug 3, 2019
* ‘Japan has been a barrier to the Korean Peninsula peace process’ says office of the president of South Korea in statement, The Hankyoreh, Aug 3, 2019 …It’s unusual for a figure at the Blue House to openly state that Japan presents an obstacle to the creation of peace on the Korean Peninsula. Such remarks indicate that Blue House officials are fuming over Japan’s removal of South Korea from its ‘white list’ of countries who enjoy expedited export procedures…
Australia to send warship and other forces to join U.S. drive against Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, ABC.net.au, Aug 21, 2019 and read: Australia’s military flex in the Middle East reveals fuel supply vulnerability, by Helen Clark, Asia Times, Aug 22, 2019
Related: Only regional countries can assure security in Persian Gulf says chief commander of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Press TV, Aug 22, 2019
Vladimir Putin says timing of U.S. missile test on Aug 18 was disappointing and shows the missile was in development long before Washington formally left the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on August 1, RT, Aug 21, 2019 and read: report by Associated Press, Aug 21, 2019
Update: Putin orders ‘symmetric’ response to Aug 18 U.S. missile test, reports in Press TV, Aug 23, 2019 and in RT, Aug 23, 2019
One month ahead of global climate strike, thousands pledge to attend rallies across planet to ‘turn up the political heat’ and demand action, by Julia Conley, staff writer, Common Dreams, Aug 20, 2019 ‘Time is running out. This decade is our last chance to stop the destruction of our people and our planet… This is why we strike.’
Behind a made-for-TV Hong Kong protest narrative, Washington is backing nativism and mob violence, by Dan Cohen, The Grayzone, Aug 17, 2019 also appearing in: Consortium News, Aug 19, 2019
Related: How peaceful demonstrations in Hong Kong morphed into a summer of violent clashes against authorities, by Yanan Wang, The Associated Press, Aug 20, 2019* No, the UN did not report China has ‘massive internment camps’ for Uighur Muslims, by Ben Norton and Ajit Singh, The Grayzone, Aug 23, 2018 Media outlets falsely claimed the UN reported China is holding a million Uighurs in camps. The claim is based on unsourced allegations by an American commission member, U.S.-funded outfits, and a shadowy government-funded opposition group.
Trump, QAnon and an impending judgment day: Behind the Facebook-fueled rise of The Epoch Times, by Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins, NBC News, Aug 20, 2019 Started almost two decades ago with a stated mission to “provide information to Chinese communities to help immigrants assimilate into American society”, The Epoch Times now wields one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet.
Related: Facebook bans ads from The Epoch Times after huge spending on pro-Trump ads, by Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins, NBC News, Aug 22, 2019 By hiding its multimillion-dollar dark money ad spend, the organization bypassed Facebook’s political advertising transparency rules.
‘An accident and a miracle’: Remembering Woodstock, 50 years later, interview with musicologist Rob Bowman, broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s ‘The Sunday Edition’, June 21, 2019 (Forty five minute interview. Rob Bowman is associate professor of music at York University in Toronto and the author of Soulsville USA: The Story of Stax Records (1998). )
‘…The people at Woodstock created a sense of community, taking care of each other, sharing food and living up to the festival’s credo of love and peace, not war. Some of the performers also spread the anti-war message through their music, the most notable example being the final act of the weekend, Jimi Hendrix. His violent rendition of the American anthem echoed the sounds of war… In many ways, Woodstock turned rock and roll into a massive, big, corporate money industry…’
Kashmir: Deutsche Welle reporter’s first-hand account of the ‘siege’, by Rifat Fareed, Deutsche Welle, Aug 19, 2019 People in India-administered Kashmir have been living with roadblocks, lockdowns and no communications for two weeks. Deutsche Welle reporter Rifat Fareed tells the story of life in Srinagar after it was cut off from the world.
* At least 2,300 people have been detained in locked-down, Indian-ruled Kashmir, by Associated Press, Aug 20, 2019
* Jammu and Kashmir: The legitimacy of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, by Nyla Ali Khan, CounterPunch, Aug 20, 2019
* Kashmir caged: A fact-finding report, by Jean Drèze, Kavita Krishnan, Maimoona Mollah and Vimal Bhai, published by Indian Cultural Forum, Aug 14, 2019 We spent five days (9-13 August 2019) traveling extensively in Kashmir. Our visit began on 9 August 2019 – four days after the Indian government abrogated Articles 370 and 35A, dissolved the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated it into two Union Territories…
U.S. tests nuclear-capable cruise missile banned by the INF Treaty it formally abrogated just weeks ago, RT, Aug 19, 2019
Hong Kong in the crosshairs of global power and ideological struggles, by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance, Aug 18, 2019
* Twitter wades into Hong Kong protests with hunt for ‘Chinese bots’, RT, Aug 19, 2019
* Other voices from the anti-extradition movement, translations of two Chinese texts, with introduction, June 17, 2019
‘Stand with Hong Kong’: Open letter published as full-page advertisement in Western dailies says Chinese government is committing ‘crimes against humanity’, Aug 19, 2019. [The street protests that escalated in March and April 2019 in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong were sparked by opposition to a new extradition law by China’s government targetting corrupt business figures. The proposed law has been withdrawn. Now, underlying protest themes are coming to the fore voicing Western, regime-change rhetoric for ‘freedom and democracy’. An open letter published in daily newspapers around the world, including in Canada’s Globe and Mail daily on August 19, gives an impression that Hong Kong residents are suffering something akin to the violence by Israel against the people of occupied Palestine or the daily, social and police violence typical of Western societies (for example, extreme police violence in the USA and the extreme police violence in France against ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters.]
Right-wing paramilitaries withdraw from key city of Khan Sheikhun in Syria’s Idlib province, Agence France presse, Aug 20, 2019
Related: Deadly airstrike on Turkish convoy entering Idlib province tests Ankara-Moscow ties, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Aug 19, 2019
Turkey ousts three more elected mayors in Kurdish-majority cities, including Diyarbakir, Al-Monitor, Aug 19, 2019 and read: Turkish police use water cannon, batons against protesters condemning the removal from office of three mayors in large, Kurdish-majority cities in southeast Turkey, Reuters, Aug 20, 2019
Max Blumenthal on international jihadism, interview with Max Blumenthal, broadcast on ‘On Contact’, with host Chris Hedges, on the RT network, Aug 18, 2019 (28-minute interview)
Calm and confict: A dispatch from Nicaragua, by James Phillips, CounterPunch, Aug 20, 2019
Anti-China prejudice plays into the hands of imperialism, its new cold war and the global warming emergency it is stoking [Since at least the extreme-right coup in Ukraine in 2014, it has become commonplace for soft-left commentators in the U.S. and other Western countries to soft pedal or pretty up the authoritarian drive of the U.S., the NATO military alliance it leads and the U.S.’ imperialist allies in the Asia-Pacific. This prettying up is appearing most recently in the form of drawing an equal sign between the countless violent crimes of imperialism–including lately against the peoples of Kashmir–with the actions of police in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong. There, protests in recent months have paralyzed the streets and even the airport of the city of seven million even as the Chinese government has granted concessions to protesters. A new example is an August 13 editorial in Truthout.org. There, we read wistful claims that prior to the Donald Trump regime, the U.S. government engaged in “long-term thinking” and “the language of human rights”. The pre-Trump government acted as a “counter to the team of global strongmen” and engaged in “meaningful stands” on crises befalling other countries. U.S. “soft power” is ebbing, the editorial bemoans, and in contrast to previous U.S. rulers, Donald Trump is not “a sophisticacted global player”. Another cited concern is Turkey: we are told it has become “largely unmoored from its post-World War Two alliances”, that is, from NATO. (This claim that Turkey is detaching itself from NATO is illusory and factually inaccurate, but we digress.) This bewailing of the ‘good old days’ of pre-Trump, ‘liberal’ imperialism shows how anti-China ignorance and prejudice among Western leftists, like its anti-Russia cousin, leads into an embrace of the ideology of a Westerm imperialism that has renewed nuclear arms race, the global warming emergency it is fostering upon the planet and countless other crimes against humanity that long predate the particular evil named Trump.]
How Obama helped Trump escalate nuclear tensions with Russia, interview with Theodore Postol, broadcast on ‘Pushback’ (The Grayzone), with host Aaron Maté, Aug 16, 2019 (10-minute segment) The Trump administration has dangerously withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). MIT professor emeritus Ted Postol explains how escalatory moves by the Obama White House paved the way. (Theodore Postol is Professor of Science, Technology and National Security Policy at MIT.)
* Trump worsens threat of nuclear catastrophe with Russia, interview with Theodore Postol, broadcast on ‘Pushback’ (The Grayzone), with host Aaron Maté, Aug 16, 2019 (eight-minute segment) MIT professor Ted Postol warns that Trump’s withdrawal from the INF treaty threatens nuclear ‘catastrophe’.
* Accident at Russian missile test site points to the dangers of the new nuclear arms race, by Jeremy Kuzmarov, CounterPunch, Aug 14, 2019
U.S. Congressional Representative Rashida Tlaib refuses Israel’s ‘oppressive conditions’ for West Bank visit, Reuters, Aug 16, 2019 and read: Tlaib refuses to ‘bow down to oppressive and racist policies’, cancels Palestine trip over Israeli conditions, by the editors, Mondoweiss, Aug 16, 2019
* Political upheaval over Congressional representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilham Omar shows the power of BDS activism, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, Aug 17, 2019
* Netanyahu banned congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from travel to Israel because the Occupation must be hidden to survive, by Peter Beinart, Forward Magazine, Aug 15, 2019
The release by a Gibraltar court of the Grace 1 Iranian oil tanker has left everyone with a win, except bungling John Bolton and the U.S. hawks, commentary by Ahmed Aboudouh, The Independent, Aug 16, 2019 It appears that Iran has ended up in a better position. Now it can sell oil with the legal power of a court ruling in an EU member state.
Syrian Kurdish commander sets conditions for safe zone talks with Turkey, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Aug 15, 2019 …A second SDF-affiliated official was even more upbeat, saying “The United States is currently speaking to Ankara on behalf of the SDF, voicing Kurdish demands, and that’s actually quite amazing.” Kurdish commander Mazlum Kobane confirmed in the interview that the United States was conveying Turkey’s demands to the SDF and the SDF’s demands back to Ankara. The SDF-affiliated official continued, “Ankara looks set to accept a YPG presence in northeastern Syria in the long term. A modus vivendi seems within reach.”
* Deciphering the cryptic ‘safe-zone’ agreement in which NATO powers Turkey and the U.S. are each declaring control over Syrian territory adjacent to the Turkey-Syria border. Report by Metin Gurcan, Al-Monitor, Aug 13, 2019.
* NATO members Turkey and U.S. establish ‘safe zone’ on Syrian territory along its border with Turkey, report by Reuters, Aug 8, 2019 and read: Turkey, U.S. agree to coordinate on Syrian buffer zone, by Ayla Jean Yackley, Al-Monitor, Aug 8, 2019
* Syria government rejects U.S.-Turkish safe zone agreement, Xinhua news agency, Aug 8, 2019
* Syria’s constitutional committee still mired in discord, by Fehim Tastekin, Al-Monitor, Aug 8, 2019
Why the rich want to bury Bernie Sanders, the not-really-socialist, by Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report, Aug 15, 2019 [An alternative political viewpoint to Black Agenda Report, this one in support of the Bernie Sanders candidacy for the 2020 presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, is offered by longtime, U.S. ‘third camp’ socialist Paul LeBlanc in this August 13 video interview with the Australian Green Left Weekly. The discussion of the “very radical” and “socialist” program of Bernie Sanders (in the words of LeBlanc) begins at the 12-minute mark. LeBlanc’s views of Sanders are endorsed by the Green Left interviewer.]
Lyme disease and U.S. biowarfare research, by Karl Grossman, CounterPunch, Aug 14, 2019 (Karl Grossman is professor of journalism at the State University of New York.) Related: Ancient history of Lyme disease in North America revealed in Yale School of Public Health study, by Yale School of Public Health, Aug 28, 2017
Protest paralyzes Hong Kong airport for the second day running, Asia Times, Aug 13, 2019 and read: Timely end of chaos in Hong Kong is key to protecting its economic, social foundations, commentary published in Xinhua (China’s state media outlet), Aug 13, 2019 Radicalized protests and escalating violence in Hong Kong have weighed down the Asian financial hub and compromised the well-being of its seven million residents. Hong Kong International Airport is the latest to suffer. The airport, which normally handles nearly 200,000 passengers a day [eighth busiest in the world, according to Wikipedia], has been disturbed by unauthorized protests, resulting in a large number of flights canceled…
Related: ‘Retake Hong Kong’: A movement, a slogan and an identity crisis, analysis by Andrew Higgins, New York Times, Aug 14, 2019
[In this August 13 news report, Associated Press reports as fact that China routinely tortures prisoners and stages rigged trials. AP also reports that 700 protesters have been arrested in Hong Kong since protests broke out in June against a proposed change in law that would permit judicial authorities in China to transfer accused corporate criminals based in Hong Kong for trial in China proper. By way of comparing the arrests and treatment of protesters in Hong Kong, Agence France presse reported three months ago that since the ‘yellow vests’ social protests broke out in France in November 2018, more than 12,000 people have been arrested by French police. Eleven have been killed during protests and more than 4,000 have injured. Scores of people have suffered eye injuries due to police use of rubber bullets and other projectiles aimed at heads, including at least 24 who have lost an eye, CNN reported last month. In Hong Kong, one female protester has suffered an eye injury and the source is unverified. But protesters have taken to dressing up with eyepatches stained with red. This August 9 op-ed in the Globe and Mail daily discussed the social discontent among young people in Hong Kong over crowded housing conditions and difficulties in achieving upward social mobility.]
Kashmir on the edge of the abyss, by Tariq Ali, published by NYR Daily (New York Review of Books), Aug 13, 2019
* Why Kashmir is suddenly a potential global point of conflict, by Vijay Prashad, article produced by Globetrotter, Aug 14, 2019 …There is no official number, but it is often said that there are nearly 600,000 Indian troops in the state. That a population of 12 million people needs this kind of armed action suggests that they are an occupied people. Rangarajan’s parallel with Palestine is credible. As each day passes, Kashmir resembles the West Bank…
* Statement in solidarity with the people of Kashmir, by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), published on its website, Aug 13, 2019
New rules announced by Trump regime would deny green cards to many legal immigrants, Associated Press, Aug 12, 2019 The Trump administration announced on August 12 it is moving forward with one of its most aggressive steps yet to restrict legal immigration: Denying green cards to many migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance… While most attention has focused on President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, including recent raids in Mississippi and the continued separation of migrant parents from their children, the new rules target people who entered the United States legally and are seeking permanent status…
California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the U.S., so why haven’t the mass shootings stopped?, by Tamsin McMahon, U.S. correspondent, Globe and Mail, Aug 12, 2019
The opioid reckoning is coming. Will Big Pharma’s accomplices escape unpunished?, by David Olive, business columnist, Toronto Star, Aug. 12, 2019
Jeffrey Epstein found dead in jail, was not on suicide watch, Reuters, Aug 10, 2019
* Epstein documents released on August 9 revealing depths of convicted pedophile’s alleged sex trafficking operation, by Eoin Higgins, Common Dreams, Aug 9, 2019
* For Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers, his suicide marks another setback, New York Times, Aug 10, 2019 …The new documents and details emerging in the case have raised extensive questions about the scope of Mr. Epstein’s network — which appears to have spanned from New York to New Mexico to the Caribbean — as well as the number of victimized girls and the help he received from loyal companions…
* Jeffrey Epstein’s death must be the start, not the end, of the investigation, by Criag Murray, published on his website, Aug 1, 2019
* It doesn’t take a tin-foil hat to smell a rat in Epstein’s ‘way too convenient’ death, by Neil Clark, columnist, RT, Aug 11, 2019
* French officials call for investigation of Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘links with France’, ABC News, Aug 12, 2019
Why China cannot win a trade war against the U.S., by Samuel T. King, published in Rupture Magazine, issue #3, Aug 4, 2019 (You can read the essay at the weblink or here in pdf format: Why China cannot win a trade war against the U.S.) …The same general view of China’s supposed threat to the dominance of the U.S. and other rich countries appears also to be fairly ubiquitous on the left. In a recent article in the U.S. online publication Truthout, writer Ashley Smith characterised the relationship between the U.S. and China as “the central inter-imperial rivalry of the 21st century”…
Also by Samuel King: Lenin’s theory of imperialism: A defence of its relevance in the 21st century, by Sam King, Marxist Left Review, winter 2015 (From the introduction: … The final section of this essay applies the Leninist theoretical framework to show that China is not a rising imperialist power, and that even its full development as a capitalist economy is blocked by imperialism…)
China’s currency breaks the seven-to-one-dollar exchange rate: The global currency war has begun, by Jack Rasmus, published on his website, Aug 5, 2019
Can Huawei’s HarmonyOS rival Google’s Android?, report on Deutsche Welle, Aug 13, 2019 Previously reported: Huawei launches own operating system ‘Harmony’ that can replace Google’s Android, RT, Aug 9, 2019
In the world of truth and fact, Russiagate is dead. But in the world of the political establishment, it is still the new ’42’, by Craig Murray, published on his website, Aug 4, 2019
The New York Time’s pro-war arguments against a U.S. war against Iran, by Gregory Shupak, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, Aug 9, 2019 ‘There is no basis for the New York Times’ insinuation that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. It hasn’t been close to having one since at least 2003, and perhaps never has.’
Grinning Trump gives thumbs-up while smiling wife Melania displays baby whose parents were shot dead in El Paso terror attack, by Colin Drury, The Independent, Aug 9, 2019 Infant who parents were killed in Aug 3 killings in El Paso, Texas was displayed by Melania Trump in photo op at hospital where patients refused to meet president
Washington escalates Venezuela sanctions into full-fledged embargo, by Lucas Koerner and Ricardo Vaz, Venezuela Analysis, Aug 6, 2019 The new measures amount to a total trade embargo impacting both US and foreign entities
* Venezuela condemns ‘criminal blockade’ as U.S. moves to freeze gov’t assets, RT, Aug 6, 2019
* Trump threatens blockade against Venezuela as dialogue between gov’t and regime-change opposition continues, report by Ricardo Vaz, in Venezuela Analysis, Aug 5, 2019
* Nationl Public Radio (NPR) in the U.S. shreds ethics handbook to normalize regime change in Venezuela, by Lucas Koerner, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR.org), Aug 5, 2019
Interview with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, broadcast on The Grayzone, Aug 6, 2019 (interview conducted by The Grayzone publisher and editor Max Blumenthal, 38-minutes, with transcript)
Statement by the President of Russia on the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), published on the website of the President of Russia, Aug 5, 2019
13th round of Syria peace talks in Kazahkstan conclude, by Marianna Belenkaya, Al-Monitor, Aug 5, 2019
Amnesty International issues travel warning to those traveling to and in the United States, pushes for gun control after latest mass shootings, RT, Aug 8, 2019
India fears Kashmir backlash, by Saikat Datta, Asia Times, Aug 6, 2019 Kashmir has remained a flashpoint, carved up between three nuclear-armed countries that surround it–India, Pakistan and China
* India revokes Kashmir’s special status, raising fears of unrest, by Jeffrey Gettleman and Sameer Yasir, New York Times, Aug. 5, 2019
* reports by Reuters, Aug 5, 2019 and by Deutsche Welle, Aug 5, 2019 (with map) [Currently, the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir comprises three regions: Hindu-majority Jammu, Muslim-majority Kashmir, and Buddhist-majority Ladakh. Interior Minister Amit Shah says the government has decided to split the state into two union territories Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, while Ladakh will be ruled directly by the central government without a legislature of its own.].
* Indian troops lock down Kashmir as India votes to strip its status, Associated Press, Aug 6, 2019
* India: A long and undeclared emergency, essay and book review by Pankaj Mishra, published in New York Review of Books, print issue of July 18, 2019 Reviewing: Emergency Chronicles: Indira Gandhi and Democracy’s Turning Point, author Gyan Prakash, published by Princeton University Press, 2019, 439 pp (read the book review here in pdf format: India’s long and undeclared emergency, by Pankaj Mishra)
Canada and Mexico are enabling Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, commentary by Chris Rickerd, published in Toronto Star, Aug 7, 2019 (Chris Rickerd is a senior policy counsel in the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Political Advocacy Department.)
Related: The immigration crackdown by the Trump regime began decades ago under Clinton, by Michelle Chen, Truthout.org, Aug 2, 2019
Finally time for the real DNC email evidence to surface, feature essay by Patrick Lawrence, published in Consortium News, Aug 5, 2019
‘White supremacist terror against Mexicans has deep roots’, interview with author Gerald Van Horne, broadcast on the program ‘Pushback’ on The Grayzone, with host Aaron Maté, Aug 5, 2019
* Latinos across the U.S. are living in fear following murder rampage in El Paso, Texas, CNN, Aug 6, 2019
* Mexican gov’t says it’s taking measures to protect Mexicans in the U.S. following racist murder rampage in El Paso Texas Report in New York Times, Aug 5, 2019 …The gunman who killed 20 in an El Paso Walmart on August 3 wrote an anti-immigrant manifesto speaking of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas”. Many Mexicans see the shooting as an expression of the tensions simmering between the United States and Mexico over immigration, guns and violence. These tensions are often fueled by President Trump in divisive invectives that target Mexicans, Central Americans and others, and speak of migrant caravans as “an invasion of our country”…
‘Regime change begins at home’: Statement of solidarity with the Venezuelan people and government by U.S. journalist Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone, following a meeting of editors of The Grayzone and the Embassy Protection Collective (Washington DC) with Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro. Statement broadcast on The Grayzone (eight minutes, with transcript), Aug 2, 2019 (Also present at the statement ceremony was Venezuela’s foreign minister Jorge Alberto Arreaza.)
Related: U.S. border agents detain Venezuela solidarity activist and violate his privacy and political rights upon return from one-week solidarity trip to Venezuela, report on The Grayzone, Aug 3, 2019 Sergio Lazo Torrez is a 31 year-old Nicaraguan-American and was a participant in the Embassy Protection Collective in Washington DC earlier in 2019. He is a member of the solidarity delegation to Venezuela that met with President Nicolas Maduro on August 1, 2019, as reported in the story above.
Defying U.S. sanctions, China and other countries take oil from 12 Iranian tankers, by Anjali Singhvi, Edward Wong and Denise Lu, New York Times, Aug 3, 2019 China and other countries are receiving oil shipments from a larger number of Iranian tankers than was previously known, defying sanctions imposed by the United States to choke off Tehran’s main source of income, an investigation by the New York Times has found…
Related: U.S. has failed to zero out Iran’s oil sales, reports the speacker of Iranian legislature Ali Larijani, Press TV, Aug 5, 2019
New Zealand gov’t to legalize women’s access to abortion services, by Thomas Coughlan, Stuff.co.nz, Aug 5, 2019 Proposed change will also provide protection for abortion clinics from anti-abortion vigilantes
Related: Abortion law reform finally removed from the too-hard basket, commentary by Henry Cooke, Stuff.co.nz, Aug 5, 2019
Turkish president Erdogan’s vendetta against Dr. Canan Kaftancioglu, provincial chair of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) for Istanbul, by Pinar Tremblay, Al-Monitor, Aug 2, 2019
U.S. formally abrogates 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia, CBS News, Aug 2, 2019 The U.S. has formally withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a missile reduction agreement signed by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement August 2 after announcing in February that U.S. participation in the pact was being suspended…
* U.S. seeks to deploy mid-range missiles to Asia as it ditches INF Treaty, RT, Aug 3, 2019
* U.S to develop new missiles as INF treaty expires, says Pentagon, RT, Aug 2, 2019
* NATO vows ‘measured’ response to Russia as INF falls apart, Press TV, Aug 2, 2019
* End of INF missile treaty leaves a major vacuum in NATO defense, by Steven Erlanger, New York Times, Friday, Aug 2, 2019 NATO repeated its support for the United States’ decision to abandon the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement on Friday and said it would respond in a “measured and responsible way” to a deployment of missiles by Moscow that violated the pact. “Russia bears sole responsibility for the demise of the treaty,” the alliance said in a statement…
* Statement by the President of Russia on the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), published on the website of the President of Russia, Aug 5, 2019
* Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on the withdrawal of the United States from the INF Treaty and its termination, August 2, 2019
Japan calls Russian prime minister’s visit to disputed Pacific island group regrettable, Reuters, Aug 2, 2019
The fight over the space observatories on Mauna Kea in Hawaii is about more than telescopes, by Sonali Kolhatkar, Truthdig, Aug 1, 2019