February 2020 The daily postings and updates to the three news headline pages on A Socialist In Canada are in hiatus until further notice. The news headline pages are: World, Canada, and Ecology. News and analysis of particular importance will continue to be posted in headline/weblink format, but less frequently than the previous daily schedule.
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‘World news’ is a newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, commencing January 2018. It consists of headlines and weblinks, with occasional news summary and brief analysis by A Socialist In Canada [in square brackets]. Months preceding January 2020 are contained under ‘News pages archives’ which you can find in the listing of website categories. Beginning April 2018, article headlines in red denote articles published on the website main page (also listed in their respective subject categories). To find past subjects on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser.
World news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, February 2020
U.S. household debt exceeds $14 trillion for the first time, Bloomberg News, Feb 11, 2020
Related: Sprawling homeless camps in California are ‘modern Hoovervilles’ recalling the years of the Great Depression, National Public Radio, Jan 13, 2020 …California’s homeless population jumped 16% in the past year. California has the highest number of tent cities, according to a report by the National Law Center On Homelessness & Poverty. And according to a new report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, California’s homeless population accounts for 53% of all unsheltered people in the U.S. Overall, the state has more than 150,000 people experiencing homelessness, according to the report… In Los Angeles County alone, the death rate for homeless people has risen steadily for years and in 2018 topped 1,000 — about three deaths per day…
Tissue of lies about Ukraine published by Germany’s state-run broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Feb 12, 2020.
[Deutsche Welle published a report on February 12, 2020 titled ‘Can the Minsk-2 peace deal of 2015 with Russia be salvaged?’ It is a typically dishonest and misleading report by Western media on the subject of right-wing Ukraine. Let us count the ways:
1. The Minsk-2 agreement was not a ‘deal with Russia’ as the DW headline falsely states. Rather, the agreement was signed (in Feb 2015) between the right-wing government of Ukraine and the pro-autonomy forces of eastern Ukraine (Donbass region, consisting of the autonomous republics of Donetsk and Lugansk). The Russian government was one of three guarantors of the agreement, also including the governments of Germany and France.
2. The pro-autonomy forces of eastern Ukraine are not ‘”seperatists”, as Deutsche Welle falsely claims. DW exposes its own lie when it acknowledges later in its article that the political measures now underway in Donbass consist of “incremental steps whereby Donetsk and Luhansk regions could gradually acquire special status” [within Ukraine].
3. Deutsche Welle writes in its report, “To this day, fighting continues to rage in the Donbass region. While the advance of Russian-backed separatists came to a standstill [in 2015], Ukrainian forces and separatists continue to engage in limited trench warfare…” There was never an “advance of Russian-backed separatists” in eastern Ukraine. The neo-Nazi paramilitary forces in Ukraine invaded eastern Ukraine (Donbass region) beginning in May 2014, less than three months after the coup d’etat which these same forces spearheaded in Kyiv. After some initial delay and mis-steps, the pro-autonomy forces successfully organized self-defense. The rightist paramilitaries have waged a low-intensity war against the people of Donbass ever since, all sanctioned by the governing regime in Kyiv and the NATO military alliance based in Brussels.
4. DW writes, “While Russia chalked up Minsk-2 as a diplomatic victory, Ukrainians were more skeptical…” This is a lie, pure and simple. Poll after poll in Ukraine are showing a solid majority of Ukrainians want a peace agreement in Donbass. This sentiment was the largest factor in the landslide election victory of Volodymyr Zelensky as president of Ukraine in March/April 2019. He campaigned on a pledge of peace. But there is little democracy remaining in post-coup Ukraine, so the desires of Ukrainians for peace remain a dead letter.
5. The thorough dishonesty of the editors of Deutsche Welle is exposed by their report’s failure to mention that the police and armed forces of Ukraine are infested with neo-Nazi paramilitiaries. These forces, in turn, receive essential funding, weapons and training from the countries of the NATO military alliance. France and Germany are members of NATO. So much for their role as ‘guarantors of peace’ under the Minsk-2 agreement.]
The imperialist war drive against Iran, its people and its government, by Roger Annis, published in A Socialist In Canada, Feb 4, 2020 This article examines the ‘regime-change’ war drive being waged by Washington with the support of its imperialist allies in Europe, Canada and Australasia. And it analyzes the disturbing trend among some liberals and leftists in the West who continue to voice calls for the violent overthrow of the Iranian government. This trend, in turn, reveals a great deal about the difficult and flawed legacy of left wing thought and theory, including Marxism, bequeathed to us today from experiences of the 20th century.
HuffPost UK editor works with gov’t censorship program while smearing anti-war scholars as tools of Russia, by Ben Norton, The Grayzone, Feb 3, 2020
The new coronavirus may be no more dangerous than the flu, despite worldwide alarm, by Tom Blackwell, National Post, Feb 4, 2020 …A recent article by University of Hong scientists published by the journal Lancet suggested the actual number of people infected is far higher. Their paper analyzed travel patterns in China and known cases of the virus and used mathematical formula to estimate that more like 75,000 people had contracted the bug there as of Jan. 28. That certainly would back up evidence that the virus spreads faster than SARS or MERS, but based on the number of reported deaths when the paper was published Friday, it would actually produce a mortality rate of just .2 per cent — akin to that of influenzas…
Related: Nowcasting and forecasting the potential domestic and international spread of the 2019-nCoV outbreak originating in Wuhan, China, by Prof Joseph T Wu, PhD, Kathy Leung, PhD and Prof Gabriel M Leung, MD, published in The Lancet, Jan 31, 2020
Understanding the Trump ‘Deal of the Century’ over Israel-Palestine: What it does and does not say, by Yumna Patel, Mondoweiss, Feb 3, 2020
* International reaction to Trump’s ‘Bantustan lite’ plan for Palestine shows the ‘two state’ solution was always a lie, by Craig Murray, published on his website, Feb 1, 2020
* Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ is so absurd and banal, it’s impossible to take it seriously, by Robert Fisk, The Independent, Feb 1, 2020
* The New York Times editorial on the Netanyahu/Trump annexation plan is a cowardly disgrace, by James North, Mondoweiss, Jan 31, 2020
* Trump-Netanyahu deal decried as shameful attack on Palestinian rights, Common Dreams, Jan 29, 2020
* Buried in Trump-Netanyahu deal is effort to ‘torpedo’ Int’l Criminal Court war crimes probe, Common Dreams, Jan 29, 2020 The plan announced on January 28 by the White House demands Palestinians “dismiss all pending actions” before the International Criminal Court.
Coronavirus in China threatens U.S. companies’ supply of Chinese-made parts and materials, Washington Post, Feb 3, 2020 …“The concern is not the zombie apocalypse with people dying in the streets. The concern is that a huge chunk of the global economy gets put out of commission as people wait it out,” said Patrick Chovanec, managing director at Silvercrest Asset Management in New York… [Positive] economic forecasts are based in part on a disease outbreak from 2003: The Chinese economy recovered quickly after severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), another fatal flulike infection, temporarily emptied offices and factories. But there is no guarantee that this coronavirus will trace a similar path. There are indications that while the new virus is less lethal than SARS, it spreads more easily. China’s $14 trillion economy also is four times as large as it was 17 years ago and far more globalized. About 150 million Chinese business executives and tourists took an international flight in 2018, the most recent data available, more than seven times the 2003 figure, according to JPMorgan. Globally, the number of shipping containers moving among the world’s ports has almost tripled, according to the United Nations…
Related: SARS stung the global economy. Coronavirus 2019-nCoV is a greater menace, New york Times, Feb 3, 2020
Wuhan coronavirus looks increasingly like a pandemic, experts say, New York Times, Feb 3, 2020
The Wuhan coronavirus spreading from China is now likely to become a pandemic that circles the globe, according to many of the world’s leading infectious disease experts. The prospect is daunting. A pandemic — an ongoing epidemic on two or more continents — may well have global consequences, despite the extraordinary travel restrictions and quarantines now imposed by China and other countries, including the United States. Scientists do not yet know how lethal the new coronavirus is, however, so there is uncertainty about how much damage a pandemic might cause. But there is growing consensus that the pathogen is readily transmitted between humans…
The Wuhan coronavirus is spreading more like influenza, which is highly transmissible, than like its slow-moving viral cousins, SARS and MERS, scientists have found. “It’s very, very transmissible, and it almost certainly is going to be a pandemic,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. “But will it be catastrophic? I don’t know.”
In the last three weeks, the number of lab-confirmed cases has soared from about 50 in China to more than 17,000 in at least 23 countries; there have been more than 360 deaths. But various epidemiological models estimate that the real number of cases is 100,000 or even more. While that expansion is not as rapid as that of flu or measles, it is an enormous leap beyond what virologists saw when SARS and MERS emerged.
When SARS was vanquished in July 2003 after spreading for nine months, only 8,098 cases had been confirmed. MERS has been circulating since 2012, but there have been only about 2,500 known cases. The biggest uncertainty now, experts said, is how many people around the world will die. SARS killed about 10 percent of those who got it, and MERS now kills about one of three… The mortality rate for known cases of the Wuhan coronavirus has been running about 2 percent, although that is likely to drop as more tests are done and more mild cases are found…
Shelling by Syrian armed forces kills six troops in Turkish convoy moving by night in Idlib province; no evidence of Turkish claims that Syrian targets were bombed in retaliation. Report by Press TV, Feb 3, 2020 …Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Turkish military came under fire from Syrian government forces because Moscow had not been warned about Turkey’s operations in Idlib… Turkish air force planes, the Turkish ministry said, did not violate Syria’s border and no attacks on Syrian troops were recorded. Syria’s state news agency SANA is not not reporting any Turkish airstrikes…
France to boost military troops in Africa’s Sahel to counter terrorism, Deutsche Welle, Feb 2, 2020 The French government is planning to deploy a further 600 troops in addition to its already 4,500-strong operation in five countries across the Sahel region–Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
Related: Anti-French sentiment on the rise in West Africa as security situation deteriorates, Deutsche Welle, Dec 12, 2019 Despite the ongoing presence of French troops in the troubled Sahel region, violent attacks against civilians and security forces are still commonplace. So why isn’t the situation improving?
Venezuela’s capital is booming. Is this the end of the Revolution?, New York Times, Feb 1, 2020 [Reader beware. This is a typical New York Times report on the Venezuelan economy in which the vast, socialized sections of the economy do not figure into the analysis. Socialized sections include the subsidized food distribution program know as ‘CLAP’ which benefits 60 per cent of Venezuelan households. New government measures to tax market transactions made in U.S. dollars (see Bloomberg News report below) are also not reported in the Times report.]
* Visit to Venezuela in January 2020: Hardship and resistance, by Peter Lackowski, CounterPunch, Jan 29, 2020
* Venezuela considers tax on sales in U.S. dollars, Bloomberg News, Jan 23, 2020