Yesterday, the European Parliament held the final vote on the controversial EU Copyright Directive, which is one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation in European history.1 The final vote approved Articles 11 (Link Tax) and 13 (mandatory content filtering) of the Copyright Directive, in a vote of 348 to 274.2
(An airplane with the Russian flag was seen at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas, Venezuela, March 24, 2019.)
The Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova acknowledged in Moscow on Tuesday that Russian “specialists” are indeed in Venezuela within the ambit of a 2001 military-technical cooperation agreement with Caracas. Zakharova underscored that Russia’s bilateral military cooperation with Venezuela is in accordance with the latter’s constitution and has legal underpinning, which “doesn’t require any additional approval from the (opposition-controlled) National Assembly of Venezuela.”
The political changes in Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years have been reflected in a serious weakening of regional multilateral organizations. The nefarious and retrograde OAS was revived, which, symbolically, is a serious antecedent against regional sovereignty, and perhaps we are now witnessing the emergence of Plan Condor II.
The Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire (DCPJ) in Port-au-Prince, where American mercenaries who were arrested were detained on Feb. 17, 2019. Credit: Hector Retamal/ AFP/Getty Images
Most of the Americans arrived in Port-au-Prince from the U.S. by private jet early on the morning of Feb. 16. They’d packed the eight-passenger charter plane with a stockpile of semi-automatic rifles, handguns, Kevlar bullet-proof vests, and knives. Most had been paid already: $10,000 each up front, with another $20,000 promised to each man after they finished the job.
There are few people in this world more odious than French President Emmanuel Macron after his behavior this week. I’m sure there are child molesters who are worse. But as a man who is pivotal in the future of hundreds of millions of people, his decision to order the French military to quell the Yellow Vests protests with live ammunition is simply vile.
A New York Times “exposé” (3/17/19) of Cuban doctors’ supposed interference in Venezuelan elections was riddled with inaccuracies, omissions and misrepresentations.
After debunking Washington’s lies about the burning of “humanitarian aid” trucks on the Venezuelan/Colombian border (more than two weeks after being scooped by independent journalists), the New York Times quickly reverted to form in an article by Nicholas Casey headlined “‘It is Unspeakable’: How Maduro Used Cuban Doctors to Coerce Voters” (3/17/19).
Our beloved world is entering an increasingly unstable period, full of dangers and also full of possibilities. In many countries, old political parties are crumbling faster and anyone thought imaginable. Old geopolitical alliances have come unglued as the US comes to exercise its role as world hegemon in new and unpredictable ways. The development of the internet, of mobile phones and of apps has led to incredible disruption of many aspects of many societies: from how we pay for and listen to music, to how we consume and propagate information and news, to how we shop for almost anything. All that is solid is melting into air.
Two months before the European elections, the European Parliament has voted to massively escalate internet censorship. Yesterday, the majority of MEPs voted in favour of a directive which, under the guise of copyright reforms, would enforce the use of so-called upload filters in social media, thus further restricting the internet.
Monday’s episode of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Four Corners” program, “The Christchurch Massacre and the Rise of Right-wing Extremism,” raised serious unanswered questions about how fascist and white supremacist Brenton Tarrant was able to carry out his terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The jailing of John Murphy for “common assault by beating” confirms the warning made by the Socialist Equality Party of the serious implications for the working class of the March 3 assault on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.