During the recent Third Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria, in Brussels, the USA decided to allocate $5 million to the White Helmets, a decision which has once more turned the spotlight onto that organization.
The eight year anniversary of the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility passed mostly without comment in mainstream media circles. In spite of ongoing radiological contamination that will continue to spread and threaten human health for lifetimes to come, other stories dominate the international news cycle. The climate change conundrum, serious though it may be, seemingly crowds out all other clear and present environmental hazards.
This week, the US Federal Reserve Bank decided to stop raising its policy interest rate for the rest of 2019. The Fed started hiking rates from near zero back in late 2016 on the grounds that the Long Depression (in economic growth, investment and employment in the US and in other major economies) was over. As economies reached full employment and used up excess capacity in industry, wages rises and price inflation would accelerate, so it would be necessary to curb any ‘overheating’ with higher interest rates to slow borrowing and spending. This policy of ‘normalisation’, as it is called, seemed to be justified after the Trump tax cuts were introduced in late 2017. Those measures led to a sharp rise in after-tax profits for US corporations and an apparent pick-up in US real GDP growth, reaching a 3% yoy rate at the end of 2018. All looked well.
Italian PM Giuseppe Conte says the partnership on Belt and Road projects with China is strictly business
All (silk) roads do lead to Rome, as this Saturday Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will sign a memorandum to adhere to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Vice President of 28 June Movement Milo Dubak Addresses United Nations Human Rights Council
28. Jun Vice President Milo Dubak delivered a blistering speech at the United Nations in Geneva today strongly condemning the illegal NATO bombing of Yugoslavia one week before the 20th anniversary of the tragedy. At the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council dealing with racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia, Mr. Dubak’s speech drew gasps and shocked stares as he highlighted the absurdity of Montenegro’s NATO membership stating “I have the distinction of being the only speaker here who hails from a country which bombed itself”. He went on to denounce the use of depleted uranium and “decades of subsequent suffering” inflicted by the bombing.
As South Africa coasts uncomfortably toward national and provincial elections on May 8, accompanied by rolling blackouts and with commissions delving ever deeper into sewers of corruption, it is time to take stock of where the country is and where it may be going. This should apply in particular to trade unions that have, in recent years, touted models of “socialist alternatives”, in Brazil and Venezuela.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Eastern District Court of Virginia unsealed several filings concerning Chelsea Manning’s legal challenge to the subpoena attempting to force her to testify before a grand jury involved in fabricating charges against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.
The US withdrawal of all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Caracas means the real geostrategy show is about to start. For months now US policymakers have been on the rhetorical, economic, subversive interference offensive against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. But the reasons for the Trump administration’s aggressive stance against Venezuela are never cited. Here is a primer for the coming proxy war in Venezuela. Continue reading →