‘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 February 2019 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, March 2019
Russia seeks to hold reluctant Turkey accountable in Syria, by Fehim Tastekin, Al-Monitor, Mar 20, 2019
Related: Trump says ISIS to be defeated ‘by tonight’, but 400 U.S. troops will stay in Syria, RT, Mar 20, 2019 U.S. President Donald Trump has confirmed that 400 U.S. soldiers will remain in Syria indefinitely, while once again promising a complete defeat of Islamic State terrorists there, specifying that it would be “by tonight”…
No mention of right-wing extremist threats in ten years of New Zealand spying and police services, report by Radio New Zealand, Mar 20, 2019
…The Islamic Women’s Council has said it told the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet at a January 2017 meeting of the ‘extreme urgency’ of its concerns about rising racism and the alt-right, and also alerted the SIS.
Former Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said the response of officials to Muslims over what they see as a growing threat to them had been “diabolical”. She said trying to get public officials to meet them was incredibly difficult, and even when they got in the door, no action was taken and they got little support.
…Radio NZ has examined ten years of annual reports and ministerial briefings and the threat of right nationalists is never specifically mentioned. There is a heavy focus on Islamic fundamentalists, in the context of several terrorist attacks in other countries and conflict in the Middle East and parts of Africa…
* A closer look at New Zealand’s new weapons ban, Stuff.co.nz, Mar 22, 2019
* Earlier changes to gun law overseen by Jacinda Ardern criticised, by Tony Wall, Stuff.co.nz, Mar 21 2019 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern oversaw recent changes which meant gun licence holders did not need to visit police stations when applying for permits for assault rifles, but could instead apply online...
* Headscarf a simple show of respect for Muslim community, event organisers say, by Liz McDonald, Stuff.co.nz, Mar 21 2019 New Zealand women wanting to wear a headscarf at Friday’s ‘Headscarf for Harmony’ solidarity event upcoming have been told not to worry about doing it wrongly
Venezuela’s future depends on China, Russia, by Vijay Prashad (Globetrotter), published in Asia Times, Mar 20, 2019
FBI joining criminal investigation into certification of Boeing 737 MAX, by Steve Miletich, Seattle Times, Mar 20, 2019 The FBI has joined the criminal investigation into the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX, lending its considerable resources to an inquiry already being conducted by U.S. Department of Transportation agents, according to people familiar with the matter. The federal grand jury investigation, based in Washington, D.C., is looking into the certification process that approved the safety of the new Boeing plane, two of which have crashed since October…
* Doomed jets lacked two features Boeing sold as extras, New York Times, Mar 21, 2019
* Captain of doomed Ethiopian airliner had no training on 737 MAX 8 simulator, RT, Mar 21, 2019
* Off-duty pilot saved Lion Air Boeing 737 Max flight one day before the airline’s deadly crash on Oct 29, 2018, by Alan Levin and Harry Suhartono, Bloomberg News, Mar 19, 2019
American mercenaries arrested in Haiti were part of a half-baked scheme to move $80 million on behalf of embattled president, special report by Matthew Cole and Kim Ives, published in Haiti Liberté (print weekly) and The Intercept, Mar 20, 2019 (Kim Ives is interviewed on Democracy Now! broadcast of March 21, 2019 (interview begins at 28′ mark of daily program) [For several months, the Haitian people have risen against their president and government, in part due to the squandering and embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars made available to the government and country through the Venezuela-sponsored ‘Petrocaraibe’ oil purchase program. The Haitian government left the program in 2018, bowing to pressure from the U.S. government over its embargo against Venezuela.]
Vladimir Putin visits and speaks in Simferopol, Crimea on fifth anniversary marking Crimea’s reunification with Russia, text of speech by Vladimir Putin, published on the website of the President of Russia, March 18, 2019
Previously reported: Crimea celebrates fifth anniversary of vote to join Russian Federation.
[Crimea voted on March 16, 2014 to leave Ukraine after a right-wing coup ousted Ukraine’s elected president and emasculated its legislature. The coup was financed and otherwise supported by Western governments or their agencies, and it was welomed by Western ‘human rights’ and ‘left-wing’ organizations. March 18 is an official holiday in Crimea to mark reunification with Russia.
[Prior to its secession from Ukraine, nearly all of Crimea’s electricity and water supply was from Ukraine. Electricity supply was cut while water supply was drastically reduced. Road, rail and air connections were cut. Western governments and ‘human rights’ organizations in the West turned a blind eye to the human rights implications of these actions by Ukraine. But it was all for naught—road, rail and air connections to Crimea are assured by the newly-opened Kerch Straight Bridge and an expanded airport at the capital city of Simferopol. Water is sourced locally as is electricity production. Many large, infrastructure investments that have lifted Crimea out of its previous, have-not status under Ukraine, with more to come.]
Trump and Bolsonaro join forces to back regime change in Venezuela and attack media as ‘fake news’, interview with Maria Luísa Mendonça, director of the Network for Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil and visiting scholar at the City University of New York, broadcast on Democracy Now!, Mar 20, 2019 (17-minute interview)
* Brazil leader Jair Bolsonaro woos Donald Trump, opens base to U.S. rockets, visits CIA and dines with Steve Bannon, report by South China Morning Post, Mar 19, 2019 Bolsonaro has broken Brazilian precedent by heading to Washington, not Argentina, for his first official trip abroad
* Trump sees ‘North-South axis’ of power in budding relationship with Brazil, by Franco Ordoñez, McClatchy News, Mar 19, 2019
* As Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro prepares to meet Donald Trump, his family’s close ties to notorious paramilitary gangs draw scrutiny and outrage, by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, Mar 19, 2019
* As Venezuela crisis deepens, U.S. sharpens focus on Colombia rebel threat, by Phil Stewart, Reuters, Mar 19, 2019 As the United States makes its biggest diplomatic push in Latin America in years to try to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the U.S. military is zeroing in on a byproduct of the crisis: a strengthening of Colombian rebels on both sides of Venezuela’s border…
The roots of police violence in Chicago: How cops have targeted communities of color for decades, interview with Lilia Fernández, professor of history and Latino studies at Rutgers University and the author of Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago, and Flint Taylor, an attorney with People’s Law Office and author of The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago, broadcast on Democracy Now!, Mar 20, 2019 (with transcript, full story begins at 31′ mark of the broadcast)
Related: Review of ‘The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago’, brief review of new book by author Flint Taylor, in Publisher’s Weekly, Dec 17, 2018
Ecuador president Lenin Moreno was elected left in 2017, is governing right, by Timm Benjamin Schützhofer, published by NACLA, Mar 13, 2019 Lenín Moreno has allied with his political opponents to implement a conservative economic agenda, threatening to undo the country’s strides in tackling poverty and inequality over the past decade.
U.S. government is using several clandestine shelters to detain immigrant children, by Aura Bogado and Patrick Michels, published by Reveal (Center for Investigative Reporting), Mar 18, 2019 … It remains unclear how many total sites are under operation, but there are at least five in Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia, holding at least 16 boys and girls for the refugee agency, some as young as 9 years old…
Oil profits grease Trump administration’s move to recognize Israeli annexation of Golan, by Finian Cunningham, columnist, RT, Mar 20, 2019
U.S. bars entry to International Criminal Court investigators, by Matthew Lee, Associated Press, Mar 15, 2019
The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court personnel seeking to investigate alleged war crimes and other abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere, and may do the same with those who seek action against Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on March 15.
Pompeo is acting on a threat delivered in September 2018 by U.S. national security adviser John Bolton, framing the action as necessary to prevent the international body from infringing on U.S. sovereignty by prosecuting American forces or allies for torture or other war crimes. “We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation,” Pompeo said…
Related: ‘The U.S. is acting like an authoritarian regime by barring ICC officials probing war crimes’, interview with Jamil Dakwar, director of the Human Rights Program at the American Civil Liberties Union, broadcast on Democracy Now!, Mar 19, 2019
Christchurch harbored white supremacists before massacre, by Stephen Wright, Associated Press, Mar 19, 2019 The leafy New Zealand city where a self-proclaimed racist fatally shot 50 people at mosques during Friday prayers is known for its picturesque meandering river and English heritage. For decades, Christchurch has also been the center of the country’s small but persistent white supremacist movement…
* Trump has retweeted at least four white nationalist [sic] accounts that were later suspended, by Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate.com, Mar 18, 2019 [Liberal media in the Western countries frequently uses the term ‘white nationalists’ instead of ‘extreme-right’ or ‘neo-Nazis’. That’s because it is in the business of softening and polishing the image of imperialist democracy.].
* As Canadian gov’t sheds tears for Christchurch massacre victims, it plans further restrictions on refugee asylum claims, by Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press, Mar 15, 2019 Border Security Minister Bill Blair says he is talking to lawmakers in the United States about closing a loophole in Canada’s border agreement with the U.S. — one seen as giving asylum-seekers reason to cross into Canada through fields and forests. The Safe Third Country Agreement says asylum-seekers cannot claim refugee protection in Canada if they arrive at an official border checkpoint from a country that is considered safe, such as the United States. But they can claim refugee status if they are already in Canada, which is why tens of thousands of asylum-seekers have been crossing into Canada through unofficial entry points on foot…
* Canada to extend military training mission in Ukraine, by David Ljunggren, Reuters, Mar 17, 2019
Following Christchurch massacre, a national day of ‘peace, love, solidarity’ needed, by Mike Treen, published in The Daily Blog, Mar 18, 2019 (Mike Treen in National Director of Unite Union in New Zealand and a columnist in The Daily Blog.)
Related: Christchurch mosque attacks: Kiwis start voluntarily handing in semi-automatic weapons, by Joanne Butcher, Stuff.co.nz, Mar 19 2019 …Police figures show that nearly 7000 New Zealanders are endorsed to have military-style semi-automatic guns – similar to two of the guns carried by the accused mosque murderer…
Families of victims of 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre can sue gun manufacturer, Connecticut Supreme Court decides, by Dave Altimari, Tribune News Service, Mar 18, 2019
On March 14, the Connecticut Supreme Court narrowly reversed a ruling by a lower court judge dismissing a lawsuit by the families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting against Remington Arms Company, allowing the case to proceed. In a 4-3 decision the court remanded the landmark gun case back to Bridgeport Superior Court and possibly created a path that other mass shooting victims can follow to get around the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, known as PLCAA, which has protected the manufacturers of the AR-15 assault rifle from lawsuits.
The ruling paves the way for the families to subpoena internal documents on how the gun companies have marketed the AR-15, which has become the weapon of choice for mass shooters. The gun manufacturers have closely guarded information on how they market the assault weapons…
[On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Before driving to the school, he shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived at the school, Lanza committed suicide. Wikipedia.]
The Intercept, a billionaire-funded public charity, cuts back, by Charles R. Davis, published by Columbia Journalism Review, Mar 15, 2019
On the ground in Venezuela, versus the media spectacle, interview with Alan Gignoux and Carolina Graterol, published in CounterPunch, Mar 18, 2019 British photojournalist Alan Gignoux and Venezuelan journalist-filmmaker Carolina Graterol, both based in London, went to Venezuela for a month to shoot a documentary for a major global TV channel. They talked with journalist Paul Cochrane (Middle East Eye) about the mainstream media’s portrayal of Venezuela compared to their experiences on the ground.
…poverty is not as bad as what I’ve seen in Brazil or Colombia, where there are lots of street children. Venezuela doesn’t seem to have a homeless problem, and the favelas have running water and electricity. The extreme poverty didn’t seem as bad as in other South American countries. People told me before going I should be worried about crime, but we worked with a lady from El Salvador, and she said Venezuela was easy compared to her country, where there are security guards with machine guns outside coffee shops.
* Journalist Eva Bartlett interviewed from Venezuela, broadcast on the Jimmy Dore Show, Mar 17, 2019 (34-minute interview)
* The reality behind Trump’s coalition for regime change in Venezuela, by Mark Weisbrot, published in The New Republic, Mar 13, 2019 [In this valuable survey of the history of U.S. policy towards Latin America, the writer seems unaware that U.S. neighbour Canada is a key participant in the U.S.-led drive to overthrow the Venezuelan government. The Canadian government was a key player in the violent coups in Haiti in 2004 and Honduras in 2009.]
‘No war for oil’ say thousands marching in Washington against U.S. intervention in Venezuela, report on The Real News Network, Mar 17, 2019 (seven-minute video report) and report on Common Dreams, Mar 17, 2019
Flawed analysis, failed oversight: How Boeing, FAA certified the suspect 737 MAX flight control system, by Dominic Gates, aerospace reporter, Seattle Times, March 17, 2019
New Zealand shooting suspect’s worldwide trips investigated, RT, Mar 16, 2019
The Australian accused of the deadly shooting at two mosques in New Zealand traveled around the globe, including Eastern Europe, Turkey, Pakistan and probably North Korea. Authorities in several countries are probing his trips.
Before his shooting spree left 49 worshipers dead and 40 people injured in Christchurch on Friday, Brenton Harrison Tarrant published a manifesto where the 28-year-old mentioned visiting Pakistan, North Korea, Turkey, France, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Iceland, Argentina and many other countries. Now, some of these states are investigating what he might have done there and whether he picked up his radical ideas during his travels…
Murdering Muslims is not extremism. In Australia, it’s business as usual, by Michael Brull, The New Matilda, Mar 17, 2019
Tears For Christchurch: Australia first imported hate in 1788, now we’re in the export business, by Chris Graham, The New Matilda, Mar 16, 2019
Misguided spying and the New Zealand massacre, by Suzie Dawson, Consortium News, Mar 15, 2019 (Suzie Dawson is a New Zealand journalist, activist and current president of the Internet Party of New Zealand.) …We know thanks to the findings of an inquiry by the State Services Commission last December that as many as a dozen government agencies, including the NZ Police, were too busy squandering their resources spying on NGOs such as GreenpeaceNZ, political parties such as the New Zealand Green Party and then-Internet Party aligned Mana Movement, and anti-TPP protesters and activists such as myself. As if that weren’t egregious enough, they were even spying on Christchurch earthquake insurance claimants and historical victims of institutional state child abuse. An ex-cabinet minister and now chief executive of Greenpeace New Zealand, Russel Norman called it “New Zealand’s Watergate moment.” …
* Semi-automatic weapons easily available for purchase in New Zealand, the Christchurch mass murderer owned two. There is no national gun registry. Report on ABC.net.au, Mar 15, 2019 …New Zealand has almost double the number of guns per person compared to Australia — around one weapon for every four people. It ranks 18th in the world for the rate of civilian gun ownership, reports the Small Arms Survey… [Per capital gun ownership by country, in Wikipedia. New Zealand ranks #20, behind U.S. (#1) and Canada (#7), but far ahead of Russia (#68).].
* The Christchurch mosque murderer was able to get hold of large-capacity, semi-automatic magazines with ease, by Tony Wall, Stuff.co.nz, Mar 16 2019
Trump factor stands out in New Zealand mosque massacre that killed 49, Press TV, Mar 15, 2019 [Western governments are issuing predictable and hypocritical statements of ‘grief’ and ‘condolence’ after an Australian, racist extremist went on a killing rampage in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15. NATO-member governments support countless right-wing, extremist movements in the world, including the neo-Nazi infused coup government in Ukraine and the governments of Israel and Colombia. They destroy countries through economic exploitation, environmental destruction and regime-change wars. Then they decry the waves of human emigration that inevitably follow, stirring prejudice and hatred. Case in point: Donald Trump and his Mexico ‘border wall’ hate-mongering. Western leaders feign discomfort if not opposition to Trump, but parrot ‘us too’ when it comes to U.S./Trump-led regime change efforts against Venezuela, the new cold war against Russia and China, and countless other imperialist predations.]
* Broken white men and the racist media that fuels their terrorism, commentary by C.J. Werleman, published in Sydney Morning Herald, Mar 15, 2019 [Missing from the writer’s listing of the crimes of racist media is media’s sympathetic reporting of Israel’s settler project against Palestinians.] * Brenton Tarrant, the racist, Australian extremist who attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, report on Heavy.com, Mar 15, 2019
* Australian senator Fraser Anning condemned after he says ‘immmigration’ caused murder rampage at Christchurch mosques, The Independent, Mar 15, 2019
Australians are asking how did we get here? Well, Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy, by Jason Wilson. columnist, The Guardian, Mar 17, 2019
The imperial racist saga comes home to the U.S., where it began, by Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report, Mar 14, 2019 What makes U.S. progressives think that the Lords of Capital will be more tolerant of austerity-busting ‘socialists’ here at home than they are with Venezuela?
Top businessman in NATO-member Slovakia charged with ordering February 2018 murders of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, Reuters, Mar 14, 2019 …Jan Kuciak reported on fraud cases involving politically connected businessmen before he was found shot dead at home with his fiancée in February 2018. The murders stoked public anger over perceived corruption in Slovakia, a country of 5.4 million people, leading to the biggest protests since communism ended three decades earlier. Amid that unrest, Robert Fico resigned as prime minister, a post he had held for 10 of the previous 12 years. His government has stayed in power but the ruling party has weakened in polls…
Investigators find new clues pointing to potential cause of 737 MAX crashes as FAA details Boeing’s fix, by Paul Roberts, business reporter, Seattle Times, Mar 15, 2019
* Pilot training under scrutiny after two crashes of new Boeing 737 models, by Natalie Kitroeff, David Gelles, Jack Nicas, Thomas Kaplan and Maggie Haberman, New York Times, Mar 16, 2019 …When the 737 Max was introduced, Boeing believed that pilots who had flown an earlier model didn’t need additional simulator training and regulators agreed. The F.A.A. didn’t change those rules after the Lion Air crash in October and there are no plans to do so now…
* Boeing promised a software fix in 2018 for 737 Max jets but pilots are still waiting, by Natalie Kitroeff, Jack Nicas and Thomas Kaplan, New York Times, Mar 14, 2019 Weeks after a deadly crash involving a Boeing plane in October 2018, company officials met separately with the pilot unions at Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. The officials said they planned to update the software for their 737 Max jets, the plane involved in the disaster, by around the end of 2018. It was the last time the Southwest pilots’ union heard from Boeing. Months later, the carriers are still waiting for a fix. After a second 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia on March 10, United States regulators said the software update would be ready by April…
* Boeing 737 Max hit trouble right away on takeoff from Addis Ababa, pilot’s tense radio messages show, by Selam Gebrekidan and James Glanz, New York Times, Mar 14, 2019 …”The speed [upon takeoff] was very high,” said Mr. Cox, a former executive air safety chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association in the United States. “The question is why. The plane accelerated far faster than it should.” …
* Automated flying systems degrade pilots’ hands-on flying skills, by Jack Nicas and Zach Wichter, New York Times, Mar 14, 2019 …Pilots now spend more time learning these automated systems than practicing hands-on flying, so newer pilots are less comfortable with taking manual control when the computer steers them wrong, according to interviews with a dozen pilots and pilot instructors at major airlines and aviation universities around the world. “The automation in the aircraft, whether it’s a Boeing or an Airbus, has lulled us into a sense of security and safety,” said Kevin Hiatt, a former Delta Air Lines pilot who later ran flight safety for JetBlue. Pilots now rely on autopilot so often, “they become a systems operator rather than a stick-and-rudder pilot.” …
* Faulty sensor data may have caused Boeing 737 MAX crashes, by Andrew Wheeler, Engineering.com, Mar 12, 2019
* Wall Street Journal reports that software fix to Boeing 737 Max 8 planes was delayed in part by government shutdown, report on CNN, Mar 13, 2019
* Pilots warned of ‘nose down’ Boeing 737 Max 8 problems before Ethiopia crash, by Gordon Dickson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mar 12, 2019
[The story of the recent crashes of two Boeing 737 Max aircraft is being revealed, bit by bit, in news coverage and analysis. What is not being revealed is how increased passenger aviation travel is contributing to intense, global competition to build and sell the aircraft to service that travel. Rising air passenger travel, in turn, has horrendous environmental consequences. Stefan Gössling, a professor at Sweden’s Lund and Linnaeus universities and co-editor of the book Climate Change and Aviation: Issues, Challenges and Solutions, says air travel contributes some five per cent of global warming emissions, well above the industry claim of two per cent. And speaking of global warming emissions:
* The ‘ecological foundations of society’ are in peril, a massive UN report on the state of the world’s environment warns, by Andrew Kann, CNN, Mar 14, 2019 …The 700-plus page report is the sixth Global Environment Outlook and is the UN’s most comprehensive report on the state of the global environment since the fifth edition in 2012. More than 250 scientists and experts from more than 70 countries contributed to the assessment… (Download Global Environment Outlook 6 here. A 28-page summary is here.) ]
Boeing disaster isolates FAA with China leading push against Boeing 737 Max aircraft, Bloomberg News, Mar 13, 2019
* Airbus rebrands Bombardier C-Series as A220, knocking Boeing-Embraer lineup, by Marisa Garcia, Forbes Magazine, July 10, 2018
* Takeover by Airbus of Bombardier CSeries jet could end up changing the world’s aerospace industry, Financial Post, Oct 17, 2017 … Bombardier’s CSeries jet benefits from a new type of efficient engine. Its design launch in 2008 eventually prompted Airbus to put the same generation of engine on its own A320 to protect its main profit source. That, in turn, forced Boeing to dump plans for an all-new single-aisle plane in 2011 and opt for a makeover of its best-selling 737 with similar engines, to be known as 737 MAX…
[The underlying story of the tragedy surrounding the two crashes of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft is the deepening competition between the world’s jet aircraft manufacturers. That competition is increasingly shaped by the new cold war drive by the U.S. and its allies against China and Russia. This story, evidently, will not be pursued by Western media. But left-wing media, too, will stay away from it due to its confusion over the politics of the new cold war, in turn caused by blind hostility to the Russian and Chinese governments.]
Trump regime’s proposed federal budget hikes military spending to record levels, to be financed by cutting Medicaid and other social services, by Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams, Mar 12, 2019 While giving the bloated Pentagon “even more than it hoped for” by boosting U.S. military spending to $750 billion—an increase of $34 billion from last year—President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget would cut Medicaid by $1.1 trillion over the next decade. Set to be unveiled on March 11, the president’s budget will call for a total of $2.7 trillion in cuts to safety net programs, environmental protection, food and housing assistance, and foreign aid over ten years, according to a summary reviewed by the Washington Post…
Related: Trump’s $34 trillion deficit and debt bomb, by Jack Rasmus, published on his website, Mar 15, 2019 This week Trump released his latest budget for 2019-20 fiscal year. It calls for $2.7 trillion in various social spending cuts over the decade, including $872 billion in reductions in Medicare, Social Security and disability spending; another $327 billion in cuts to food stamps, housing support and Medicaid; a further $200 billion in student loan cuts; and hundreds of billions more in cuts to education, government workers’ pensions, and funds to operate the EPA and other government agencies…
Report by a Code Pink-organized peace delegation from the U.S. to Iran, by Ann Wright, report published in Consortium News, Mar 14, 2019 Ann Wright reports on a citizen peace delegation’s recent trip to Iran, which included a meeting with the country’s foreign minister.
* How U.S. sanctions are hurting Iran: Report from a Code Pink peace delegation visit to Iran, by Medea Benjamin, published in CounterPunch, Mar 12, 2019
* Blog reports on Code Pink website of ten-day peace delegation to Iran, ending on March 8, 2919
‘How to spot a Jew’: Headline in newspaper being sold in the newstand of NATO-member Poland’s parliament, RT, Mar 14, 2019
Related: Nazi whitewash gathers momentum in Ukraine and Latvia as memory of the Holocaust fades, by David Pugliese, columnist, Ottawa Citizen (Postmedia), Feb 25, 2019
[David Pugliese was one of many Canadian journalists and publications targetted in a scurrilous report by a Marcus Kolga published by the Ottawa-based, right-wing ‘Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy’ on February 25, 2019. The report alleged widespread ‘Russian disinformation’ being conducted though media in Canada. A report by the same author was published as an op-ed commentary in the Toronto Star on January 11, 2018 and stated, “…the Putin regime has been paying millions of dollars annually to Canada’s largest cable providers to force-feed Russian state propaganda into six million Canadian households since 2009.” It went on, “The Kremlin’s media channels, such as RT, have one primary objective: to promote the decay of Western democracy by spreading the spores of propaganda throughout the world.” The Toronto Star is Canada’s largest-circulation daily newspaper.
[The Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy is also a loud voice for banning the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from working or conducting research in Canada.]
Electricity recovery continues in Venezuela as U.S. withdraws diplomatic staff, by Ricardo Vaz, Venezuela Analysis, Mar 12, 2019
Related: President Maduro announces special commission to investigate sabotage of electricity grid, requests assistance from allied countries, Telesur, Mar 12, 2019
A skeptic’s guide to the Russiagate fixation, by Aaron Maté, The Nation, Mar 12, 2019 Robert Mueller has yet to allege collusion, and Democrats who accuse Trump of being a Kremlin conspirator are silent when his policies escalate tensions with Russia
* Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity: Robert Mueller’s forensics-free findings, by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), published in Consortium News, Mar 13, 2019 The final Mueller report should be graded “incomplete,” says VIPS, whose forensic work proves the speciousness of the story that DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking.
* RussiaGate as organised distraction, by Professor Oliver Boyd-Barrett (Bowling Green University), published by The Organisation for Propaganda Studies (UK), March 6, 2019
Previously reported: Militarism and capitalism reign as spotlight stays on Russia conspiracy, feature interview with journalist Aaron Maté, broadcast on the ‘Intercepted’ podcast on The Intercept, Mar 6, 2019, with host Jeremy Scahill (37-minute interview)
U.S. regime change blueprint proposed Venezuelan electricity blackouts as ‘watershed event’ for ‘galvanizing public unrest’, by Max Blumenthal, The Grayzone Project, Mar 11, 2019 The US-funded CANVAS organization that trained Juan Guaido and his allies produced a 2010 memo on exploiting electricity outages and urged the opposition ‘to take advantage of the situation…towards their needs’
Related: U.S. media erase years of Chavismo’s gains, by Gregory Shupak, published by Fairness And Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), Feb 20, 2019
Government of Cuba condemns terrorist sabotage of Venezuelan electrical power system, statement of the Government of Cuba, published in Granma (Cuban daily), March 11, 2019 The Revolutionary Government strongly condemns the sabotage perpetrated against the Venezuelan electrical power system. It is a terrorist act intended to harm the defenseless population of an entire nation and take it hostage in the non-conventional war launched by the government of the United States against the legitimate government headed by comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic and military union of the Bolivarian, Chavista people…
Reductions in poverty? What globalized capitalism has truly wrought, essay by Michael Roberts (Marxist economist in UK), published on Michael Roberts Blog, Mar 12, 2019 …Anthropologist Jason Hickel has provided an excellent refutation of this claim that global poverty is being solved and falling fast, thanks to capitalism. Much depends on how to define poverty. Hickel: “If we use $7.40 per day, we see a decline in the proportion of people living in poverty, but it’s not nearly as dramatic as your rosy narrative would have it. In 1981 a staggering 71 per cent lived in poverty. Today it hovers at 58 per cent (for 2013, the most recent data). Suddenly your grand story of progress seems tepid, mediocre, and – in a world that’s as fabulously rich as ours – completely obscene…. “And if we look at absolute numbers, the trend changes completely. The poverty rate has worsened dramatically since 1981, from 3.2 billion to 4.2 billion, according to World Bank data. Six times higher than you would have people believe. That’s not progress in my book – that’s a disgrace.” …
Related: How bad is global inequality, really?, by Jason Hickel, published on his website, Mar 3, 2019
Once again, the UN has failed to name firms that profit from Israel’s illegal settlements, by Jonathan Cook, published in The National (UAE), Mar 10, 2019
The United Nations postponed last week for the third time the publication of a blacklist of Israeli and international firms that profit directly from Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied territories. The international body had come under enormous pressure to keep the database under wraps after lobbying behind the scenes from Israel, the United States and many of the 200-plus companies that were about to be named.
UN officials have suggested they may go public with the list in a few months. But with no progress since the UN’s Human Rights Council requested the database back in early 2016, Palestinian leaders are increasingly fearful that it has been permanently shelved…
* Netanyahu tells the truth: ‘Israel is not a state of all its citizens’, by Jonathan Ofir , Mondoweiss, Mar 11, 2019
* Trump administration to end all USAID projects in West Bank and Gaza by January 31, Mondoweiss, Jan 18, 2019
U.S.-led airstrikes, including white phosphorus, claim dozens of civilian lives in Deir ez-Zour in eastern Syria, Press TV, Mar 11, 2019
* Trump says he agrees ‘100%’ with keeping U.S. troops in Syria, NBC News, Mar 6, 2019 Two months after saying all U.S. troops are leaving Syria, the president wrote members of Congress that he agrees with keeping a U.S. presence in Syria
* U.S. shifts weapons from Iraq to Syria, by Jack Detsch , Al-Monitor, Mar 4, 2019 The Pentagon has rerouted millions of dollars’ worth of weapons and vehicles from Iraq to Syria in the second half of 2018, Al-Monitor has learned. In a series of notifications to Congress reviewed by Al-Monitor, the Defense Department said it had determined that a bevy of supplies purchased by the Pentagon for the Iraqi military would instead go to the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)…
[Corporate media in the West has repeated ad nauseum the Trump lie issued in December 2018 that he intended to withdraw the U.S. military presence from Syria. That’s because its stock-in-trade is to sow confusion and lies. But how to explain the near-universal repetition of the Trump lie by alternative media in the West if not naivete?]
New York Times reports that accusations by U.S. and Colombian governments that Venezuela gov’t attacked and burned aid convoy trucks during Feb 23 ‘humanitarian aid’ border provocation on February 23 was bogus. NYT story: ‘Footage contradicts U.S. claim that Maduro burned aid convoy’, by Nicholas Casey, Christoph Koettl and Deborah Acosta, New York Times, Mar 10, 2019
* New York Times exposé on the lies about burning aid trucks in Venezuela shows how U.S. government and media spread pro-war propaganda, by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, Mar 10, 2019
* Mainstream media finally admits it lied about who torched ‘aid truck’ at Venezuela-Colombia border on February 23, unsigned commentary on RT, Mar 10, 2019 ‘You have to be joking with this tweet,’ journalist Glenn Greenwald shot back. ‘It was CNN – the outlet where you work – that led the way in spreading this lie all over the world. CNN claimed it saw with its own eyes something that never happened. It ignored all the evidence presented weeks ago proving this lie…’
* The U.S. humanitarian aid ploy to Venezuela explained, by Kei Pritsker, Mint Press News, produced in collaboration with The Grayzone Project, Mar 5, 2019
Venezuela’s Maduro thanks military for overcoming ‘coup’, announces plans to continue defense of the country and people, Press TV, Mar 10, 2019
The myth of anti-white genocide in South Africa, feature essay by James Pogue, published in Harper’s Magazine (monthly), print issue of March 2019
…In recent months, the Economic Freedom Fighters and left-wing members of the ruling African National Congress, which has governed South Africa since 1994, have led occupations of vacant land mostly owned either by the government or members of the white Afrikaans-speaking population, who would once have been termed Boers. Boer means “farmer” in Afrikaans, and their descendants see agriculture as their history and identity, as well as their rightful inheritance. Even a quarter century after the end of apartheid, 72 per cent of privately held farmland in South Africa is owned by whites, who now make up just eight per cent of the country’s population of over 56 million. Blacks, 81 per cent of South Africa’s population, own only four per cent of the country’s rural land. It’s this imbalance that has led as many as five million squatters to occupy land like that in Lawley over the last two decades…
Related: In South Africa’s fabled wine country, white and black battle over land, by Selam Gebrekidan and Norimitsu Onishi, New York Times, Mar 9, 2019
A generation after apartheid, the [wine-producing] Stellenbosch region is gripped by a struggle that pits white citizens who still control much of the economy against their black neighbors.
…A recent government survey found that white farmers like Mr. Smit control nearly 70 percent of farms held by individual owners in South Africa. And the figure does not even include land held by companies and trusts, which account for the largest share of privately owned land in the country.
…The squatters say they moved in out of desperation. Life had barely changed for the men and women in the neighboring township, even a quarter-century after achieving democracy. They still lived in flimsy shacks in cramped quarters, while Mr. Smit and his friends hold vast tracts of land brutally snatched from African inhabitants generations ago and deliberately kept in white hands for decades to come…
Ophthalmologists demand French president Macron ban rubber bullets as eye injuries spread like ‘epidemic’, RT, Mar 10, 2019 France is experiencing an “epidemic” of eye injuries as police repeatedly deploy golf-ball-sized rubber bullets, France’s top ophthalmologists say, urging President Macron to halt use of the projectiles. As the Yellow Vest protests enter their 17th consecutive week, the debate around the government’s alleged use of excessive force continues to gain momentum. On March 9, the Journal du Dimanche newspaper published a letter to President Macron written by the country’s 35 leading ophthalmologists asserting that the police’s use of rubber bullets has led to an “epidemic of serious eye injuries”…
Related: Tens of thousands ‘yellow vest’ protesters march in France on March 9 while police and government are condemned for serious injuries inflicted by police, report by Agence France presse, Mar 10, 2019
Would railing against a Labour Party-Saudi Arabia lobby be racist? So why are critics of Israel labelled ‘anti-Jewish’?, by Jonathan Cook, published in his website blog, Mar 9, 2019
Sabotage of Guri Dam (Simón Bolívar Hydroelectricity Plant) providing most of Venezuela’s electricity plunges country into darkness, report on RT, Mar 8, 2019 [In its national news radio report of the electriticty blackout in Venezuela, Canada’s state-run broadcaster the CBC reported nothing of how the Guri Dam went out of service. Instead, its reporting featured the views of well-to-do Venezuelans blaming the government for the blackout and saying it’s just another example of the government blaming others for its failings. In the U.S., Florida Senator Marco Rubio who is a leading voice in the U.S. government drive to overthrow the Venezuelan government, tweeted the news of the electricity outages within minutes of their occurrence. The pro-coup Guardian devotes most of its news story to speculation that insufficient maintenance of the electrical generation equipment at the dam is to blame. The Guri Dam is the world’s fourth largest hydroelectric dam by installed capacity (Wikipedia). Construction began in 1963.]
Related: Cyberwar sabotage blamed for Guri Dam outage, report by Associated Press, Mar 8, 2019
…While authorities expressed concern about the sick and elderly, and a few people had to be rescued from lifts, residents in Caracas expressed awe at the sight of stars hanging over the normally bustling city of two million. The government keeps home power bills exceptionally low – just a couple dollars a month.
State-owned electricity operator Corpoelec blamed the power cut on act of “sabotage” at the Guri Dam, one of the world’s largest hydroelectric stations and the cornerstone of Venezuela’s electrical grid. [Communications Minister Jorge] Rodriguez described it as a cyberattack intended to take down the whole system. He said electricity in Venezuela’s eastern region was restored within two hours…
Militarism and capitalism reign as spotlight stays on Russia conspiracy, feature interview with journalist Aaron Maté, broadcast on the ‘Intercepted’ podcast on The Intercept, Mar 6, 2019, with host Jeremy Scahill (37-minute interview) [The only thing missing from this broadcast is explanation of how The Intercept itself has been a platform of promoting Russiagate conspiracy, including editor Glenn Greenwald never wavering from belief that ‘maybe’ there is something to the accusation of ‘collusion’ between the Russian government and the Donald Trump 2016 election campaign. Jeremy Scahill repeats the ‘maybe’ thesis in his introduction to his interview with Aaron Maté, though saying the likelihood is fading.]
Russiagate and Democratic Party defeat, by Margaret Kimberley, editor and senior columnist, Black Agenda Report, Mar 6, 2019
…The Mueller investigation has come up empty and Democrats are scrambling to keep their creation alive in order to make themselves politically relevant. They should be planning how to go about giving the people what they need and want. But Medicare for All and any other proposals that would benefit the masses are off the table for them and their corporate donors.
…One by one the Russiagate allegations are falling by the wayside. Michael Cohen never went to Prague to meet Russian hackers or to do anything else. He never heard of any collusion plans or Trump vulnerability to blackmail. Of course, the Mueller-led proceedings were farcical. The only collusion was between the corporate media and the Democratic Party to spin a phony tale…
Turkey’s new Kurdish card in Syria: Kurds themselves, by Mahmut Bozarslan, Al-Monitor, March 5, 2019 An entity with clear ties to Turkey has emerged claiming to represent a segment of Syrian Kurds and calling for the ouster of what it considers to be Kurdish terrorist organizations
Heavily armed paramilitaries aborted a plan in late February to enter Venezuela from Colombia by force, by Ethan Bronner and David Wainer, Bloomberg News, Mar 6, 2019 [This otherwise informative article is replete with false claims against the Venezuela government, including the new and novel accusation by U.S. government officials that officials in the Venezuela government are engaged in drug trafficking!]
Related: German ambassador to Venezuela declared persona non grata, Deutsche Welle, Mar 5, 2019 German Ambassador Daniel Kriener has been told to leave Venezuela within 48 hours. He has been accused by the Maduro government of meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs. Krienerassumed the post only last year. He was among a group of Western diplomats who greeted self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido at the Caracas airport on March 4, returning from a 10-day tour of South American allies…
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou makes brief appearance in Vancouver courtroom, next date for her extradition hearing is May 8, report by CBC News, Mar 6, 2019
[Last week, Meng Wanzhou filed a civil suit against members of Canadian Border Services Agency, the RCMP and Canada’s attorney general over her detention at the Vancouver airport on December 1, 2018. She claims officers violated rights guaranteed under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She also says she was asked to hand over all electronic devices and to provide passwords.
[Canada’s state-run CBC throws into this report “She celebrated her birthday last month at her home in Dunbar, an affluent neighbourhood on Vancouver’s west side.” Other CBC reports have spoken of her living in one of two “mansions” owned by her and her husband. The couple’s houses are decidedly not ‘mansions’. Meanwhile, the average price of houses in the entire west side of Vancouver (distinct from the downtown) is $4.1 million (!), so any and all neighbourhoods there are ‘affluent’. The astronomic price of houses in Vancouver (average price of detached houses sold in the City of Vancouver in February 2019 was $2.1 million) is due to years and decades of deliberate federal and provincial government policies to create a real estate bubble, including welcoming wealthy foreign buyers with open arms. The combination of those policies and the abdication by governments of responsibility to build and manage affordable housing has created a grim housing crisis for working class people in Vancouver, Toronto and most other Canadian cities.]
Israeli 2018 killings in Gaza may constitute war crimes, concludes UN probe, Press TV, Feb 28, 2019
* UN Human Rights Council investigation finds Israel intentionally shot children, journalists and the disabled during 2018 Gaza protests, interview with Sara Hossain on Democracy Now!, Mar 4, 2019 (seven-minute interview)
* Norman Finkelstein: It is time for the International Criminal Court to file war crimes charges against Israel, interview with Norman Finkelstein, broadcast on Democracy Now!, Mar 4, 2019 (eight-minute interview)
* UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn renews calls to end UK arms sales to Israel in wake of UN report on Gaza protests, by Yumna Patel, published in Mondoweiss, Mar 4, 2019
The shameful attacks on U.S. congressional representative Ilhan Omar, by James Zogby, Mondoweiss, Mar 6, 2019
Related: ‘I am told I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel’ and that’s problematic: Rep. Ilhan Omar stands strong amid blizzard of attacks, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, Mar 4, 2019
Unfounded allegations of anti-Semitism cover up Israeli apartheid, by Jeff Handmaker, published in Mondoweiss, Mar 4, 2019
A stumble in Hanoi, but negotiations remain on the agenda, by Gregory Elich, published in Zoom In Korea, Mar 4, 2019
Related: It was Kim that walked away from the Korea peace conference in Hanoi, by Patrick Lawrence, special to Consortium News, Mar 4, 2019
The abrupt and unexpected failure of the second Trump–Kim summit last week raises many questions. Let’s get one out of the way before addressing the others: No, the collapse of talks between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, does not scuttle the most promising chance for peace on the Korean Peninsula since the 1953 signing of the armistice ending the Korean War. There is more to come. This was plain within hours of the summit’s end.
At this point it’s still difficult to discern even what transpired between the two leaders. The U.S. and North Korean accounts of the proceedings in Hanoi are widely at variance on key points. With history in view, it is very likely that the North Korean version comes closer to the truth than what the Trump administration is putting out and what the U.S. press is dutifully reporting…
‘How to Hide an Empire’: Author Daniel Immerwahr on the history of the Greater United States, interview with the author of the new book How to Hide an Empire: A History Of The Greater United States, broadcast on Democracy Now!, Mar 5, 2019 (33-minute interview, with transcript)
China blocks canola shipments from Richardson International family enterprise, Canada’s largest grain trader, Reuters, Mar 4, 2019 …Oilseeds like canola, fruit and grain are Canada’s biggest China export category, making up nearly 17 percent of all exports in 2017, the latest annual data available, according to the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada…
* Port of Dalian, China, confirms ban of Australian coal imports, Sydney Morning Herald, Feb 22, 2019
* China’s stunning shutdown of Australian coal shipments: What you need to know, by David Scutt, Business Insider, Feb 22, 2019 China accounted for 22% and 24% of Australia’s thermal and coking coal exports last year
The prisoner Julian Assange says ‘no’ to big brother, by John Pilger, published on Consortium News, Mar 4, 2019
Related: The psychology of getting Julian Assange, part two: The court of public opinion and the blood-curdling untold story, by Dr Lissa Johnson, published in The New Matilda, Feb 25, 2019 (Dr Lissa Johnson is a clinical psychologist in Australia. She has a longstanding interest in the psychology of social issues and the impact of social issues on psychology and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society Public Interest Advisory Group.) Part one of this two-part series is here: The psychology of getting Julian Assange, part one: What’s torture got to do with it?, by Dr Lissa Johnson, published in The New Matilda, Feb 19, 2019.)
Huawei chief financial officer alleges rights violations and false imprisonment in civil lawsuit against Canadian police, border agents and attorney general, by Angela Jung, CTV News, March 3, 2019
* Huawei exec’s lawsuit likely aims to affect extradition proceedings, legal experts say, by Perrin Grauer and Jeremy Nuttall, Star Vancouver (page one of Toronto Star), Mar 3, 2019 …A judgment in her favour on the question of whether her rights were violated during the course of her arrest [at the Vancouver airport on Dec 4, 2018] could have a “significant impact” on how those extradition proceedings play out in Canada, Lee said. It could also potentially affect whether the U.S. extradition request is granted by Canada’s justice minister. Even if Meng is ultimately sent to the U.S. to face charges in the Eastern District of New York, a ruling that her rights were breached in Canada could play well for her in an American court, Lee said…
* Huawei said to be preparing to sue the U.S. government, by Raymond Zhong and Paul Mozur, New York Times, Mar 4, 2019 …The move could be aimed at forcing the United States government to more publicly make its case against the Chinese equipment maker. It is part of a broad push by Huawei to defend itself against a campaign led by the United States to undermine the company, which Washington sees as a security threat…
Interview with Venezuelan socialist leader Stalin Pérez Borges: ‘It will be very difficult to defeat us’, interview published in Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, March 2, 2019 (translated from original Spanish in Aporrea.org, Feb 8, 2019)
Related: Notes from the streets of Venezuela: The people are resilient in the face of foreign intervention, by Vijay Prashad, published by International Press Agency, Feb 26, 2019
Previously reported: Financial imperialism: The case of Venezuela, by Jack Rasmus, published on his website, Feb 28, 2019 (Dr. Jack Rasmus is an author and PhD in political economy. He teaches economics and politics at St. Mary’s College in California.) …Evidence that the ‘green light’ for regime change and invasion is now flashing are supportive public statement by former president Barack Obama and several high level U.S. Democratic party politicians and candidates, directly attacking the Maduro regime. They are signaling Democrat Party support for invasion and regime change. Events will now accelerate—just in time perhaps to coincide with the release of former FBI director Robert Mueller’s report on Trump…
Right-wing socialists of U.S. ISO group join call for ‘referendum’ to oust Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro. [The Socialist Worker.org publication of the International Socialist Organization in the U.S. has published the following commentary: Venezuela on the brink, by Mike Gonzalez, March 4, 2019. Excerpt: “Neither Guaidó nor Maduro have anything to offer the mass of Venezuelans. They are rival factions battling for the profits from oil and the huge benefits that come from corruption…” The commentary is a slap in the face even to members of the group, some of whom have been using the ‘Readers views’ section of the publication’s website to demand that the ISO voice unconditional opposition to the U.S.-led drive to overthrow the Venezuelan government.]
Venezuelans living abroad: A piece of the West’s anti-Venezuela propaganda. [Accurate figures on the number of Venezuelan people who are living abroad are difficult to find or trust. The World Economic Forum says 2.3 million. The United Nations says three million. The issue is heavily propagandized by Western governments and media; they say the numbers are proof of the failings of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution. But with an estimated population of 32 million, the high estimate of citizens abroad places Venezuela below such countries as New Zealand, Mexico and Portugal, proportionately; the low estimate places it on par with Britain, Switzerland and Greece. Furthermore, none of these countries is enduring the likes of the crushing economic war being waged against Venezuela by the U.S. and its stooges. Venezuela’s neighbouring country of Colombia, population 50 million, is governed by a pro-U.S, extreme-right government. In early 2017, Colombia’s internally displaced population was estimated at a whopping 7.3 million, according to UNHCR. Funny how we never hear the whys and wherefores of that in Western media…]
Bolivia inaugurates free universal health care system, Telesur, Mar 1, 2019
Related: Cuban doctors in Bolivia celebrate Latin American Medicine Day, Telesur, Dec 3, 2018
‘Dismissing the Truth’ report debunks Amnesty International’s misleading reports on Nicaragua, by Chuck Kaufman, published by Alliance For Global Justice (AFGJ), Feb 27, 2019 On Tuesday, February 26, the Alliance for Global Justice and the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group (UK) released a report, Dismissing the Truth, that exhaustively rebuts two reports on human rights in Nicaragua in 2018 by Amnesty International. The Amnesty International reports accuse the democratically-elected government of Nicaragua of “a strategy of indiscriminate repression.” …
Previously reported: How Amnesty International is reinforcing Trump’s regime-change propaganda against Venezuela, by Joe Emersberger, published in Venezuela Analysis, Feb 28, 2019 (originally published in The Canary (UK), Feb 27, 2019) In refusing to condemn U.S. sanctions and opposition coup efforts, Amnesty is providing cover for a possible dirty war in Venezuela
The war against Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, by Kurt Hackbarth and Colin Mooers, published in The Bullet (Canada), March 1, 2019
* Mexican government expands controversial preventive detention laws, by Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, Green Left Weekly, Feb 28, 2019
* Trump’s surprising new migrant policy ally in Mexico? The government, by Azam Ahmed and Kirk Semple, New York Times, Mar 1, 2019
Huge turnout in Cuba for referendum on constitutional reform, by Pablo Vivanco (former director of Telesur English), published on RT, Mar 1, 2019 Eighty-four per cent of eligible Cubans turned out to vote 90 per cent in favour of proposed reforms to the country’s 1976 constitution.
Philippines government welcomes visit by Mike Pompeo, is pleased to hear him declare ‘U.S. to make sure China can’t blockade South China Sea’, report by Jim Gomez, in Associated Press, Mar 1, 2019
… Pompeo assured the Philippines during a visit to Manila that America will come to its defense if its forces, aircraft or ships come under armed attack in the South China Sea, in the first such public U.S. assurance in recent memory. His comments were an attempt to address Philippine concerns over the vagueness of the allies’ 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, which Manila wants re-examined.
…Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said in the news conference with Pompeo that the Philippines feels confident, citing assurances from the top U.S. diplomat and President Donald Trump to President Rodrigo Duterte that, “We have your back.” Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Romualdez told The Associated Press on February 28 that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will meet Pentagon officials in Manila this month for initial talks on Manila’s proposal to review the 1951 defense treaty, which calls on the allies to come to each other’s defense against an external attack. Formal talks will be scheduled after, he said…
* Philippines foreign secretary says no need to review 68-year old Mutual Defense Treaty with U.S., report in Rappler, March 1, 2019 … “My own view is no. I believe in the old theory of deterrence. I have been an old man, I’ve engaged in the Cold War for longer than you. In vagueness lies the best deterrence,” he said when asked whether he was seeking a review of the MDT. During the press briefing, Pompeo said US considers the South China Sea as covered by the MDT…
* ‘Rappler’ publication in Philippines reports its satisfaction with U.S. veiled threats against China in South China Sea, report in Rappler, March 2, 2019
Canada’s Justice Department decides that U.S. extradition demand against Meng Wanzhou can proceed to court for recommendation to minister, Canadian Press, March 1, 2019 and see: China blasts ‘political persecution’ of Huawei as Canada goes ahead with exec’s extradition to U.S., RT, Mar 2, 2019 [Meng Wanzhou is to appear on March 6 before the BC Supreme Court to commence her defense against a U.S. extradition demand. The court will make a recommendation to Canada’s minister of justice who has the final authority in the matter.]
Bomber Bernie sets his sights on the 2020 presidential race, by Nick Pemberton, published in CounterPunch, March 1, 2019
Related: The words and deeds of social imperialists in the U.S., by Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report, Feb 28, 2019
* U.S. writer Paul Street writes it is time to ‘get on board’ with the Democratic Party candidacy of Bernie Sanders, essay by Paul Street, published in Truthdig, Feb 27, 2019 [The Democratic Party immediately joined the U.S. drive to overthrow the government of Venezuela and it continues to show itself as equal to the Trump regime in pursuing a new cold war and renewing a nuclear arms race. But the widely-published, left-wing writer Paul Street and ‘Green New Deal’ environmentalists are flocking to the party as the only path to saving U.S. imperialism from itself. Is it any wonder that the political left and the environmental movement in the United States remain marginal political forces?].
* Don’t ‘feel the Bern’ if you don’t want to get burnt, by Neil Clark, columnist, RT, Feb 27, 2019
Who needs a party of the left in Britain when a 100-plus year-old Labour Party wedded to British imperialism can become ‘socialist at a stroke’? [A leader of the ‘Counterfire’ left group in Britain argues in a February 24, 2019 essay that “Becoming a socialist party wouldn’t solve all [the Labour Party’s] problems, and an electoral orientation would no doubt reproduce some of the old dilemmas. But it would be a huge step forward for the left, would empower hundreds of thousands of activists, would raise the debate about socialism to centre stage in national politics, and help to isolate the right….”]