On Wednesday, November 24, MintPress News Editor in Chief Mnar Adley sat down to speak with Camila Saab, the wife of imprisoned Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab. Saab was on a diplomatic mission to Iran in June 2020, where he was tasked with securing deals for food, medicine and personal protective equipment. His plane stopped off in Cabo Verde — a group of islands off the west coast of Africa — for a routine refueling. He would never finish his journey, as, on orders from the United States government, local authorities stormed the vehicle, forcing him off the plane — an event that would begin his 18-month detention. “I never imagined that Cabo Verde was going to kidnap a diplomat,” said the Italian-born former model and mother of two.
Davarian L. Baldwin’s recent book, In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower, offers an insightful examination—and stirring critique—of the role of universities in the political economy of U.S. cities. In this interview, Baldwin shines a light on how institutions that define themselves as key contributors to the public good have entrenched new forms of urban inequality. Understanding the meaning of higher education in American life today requires seeing the university from the perspective of the workers it exploits, the residents it displaces, and the people it polices. Sam Klug: You claim that many major cities have not just embraced the eds and meds economy but have actually become company towns for large institutions of higher education—what you label “UniverCities.” How do universities exercise this kind of control?
On Sunday, November 28, housing rights groups and other progressive sections in the Dutch city of Groningen marched under the banner #Woonstrijd to protest the acute housing crisis in the city. Various groups including Shelter Our Students (SOS), International Socialists Groningen, New Communist Party of the Netherlands (NCPN), Communist Youth Movement (CJB), RED Groningen, Young Socialists Groningen, Democratic Academy Groningen, Groningen Feminist Network, and others, participated in the march while adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols. The protesters demanded a radical housing policy from the authorities which will be beneficial for all residents of the city.
Farmers of all kinds, men and women – including from Adivasi and Dalit communities – played a crucial role in this country’s struggle for freedom. And in the 75th year of our Independence, the farmers at Delhi’s gates reiterated the spirit of that great struggle. Prime Minister Modi has announced he is backing off and repealing the farm laws in the upcoming winter session of Parliament starting on the 29th of this month. He says he is doing so after failing to persuade ‘a section of farmers despite best efforts’. Just a section, mind you, that he could not convince to accept that the three discredited farm laws were really good for them. Not a word on, or for, the over 600 farmers who have died in the course of this historic struggle.
As the COVID pandemic upended the economy in the spring and summer of 2020, tens of millions of Americans lost their jobs and became ever more vulnerable to hunger. In consequence, the country’s network of food banks saw a sudden spike in usage. Just prior to, and at the start of the pandemic, food banks distributed 1.1 billion pounds of food in the first quarter of 2020. By the fall of that year, they were handing out 1.7 billion pounds. Since then, that dizzying increase has leveled off or fallen somewhat in many places, but that doesn’t mean the country’s no longer suffering an epidemic of food insecurity. To the contrary: Large food banks around the country are still reporting far higher levels of need — and of food distribution to attempt to meet that need — than was the case prior to COVID.
As a congestion crisis continues to stall polluting container ships in ports around the world, there is a growing awareness of the role that international shipping plays in both the climate crisis and the public-health impacts of air pollution. Released on Cyber Monday, a new report from Ship It Zero coalition members Stand.earth and Pacific Environment details the relationship between four major retailers that ship goods to the U.S. — Walmart, Amazon, Target and IKEA — and the fossil-fueled carrier companies that make that shipping possible. “Major retail companies and cargo carriers are flush with cash from pandemic-driven record breaking profits and are tightening their already close relationships,” Stand.earth shipping campaigns director Kendra Ulrich said in a statement emailed to EcoWatch.
Whistleblower David McBride faces life in prison for revealing war crimes in Afghanistan to the media. Watch his story here. David McBride, a former Australian military lawyer, tells journalist Michael West about alleged war crimes and a cover-up in Afghanistan. He faces trial for leaking hundreds of pages of defense force information to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (whose offices were then raided by federal police), offering insight on clandestine operations of Australia’s elite special forces, including incidents of troops killing unarmed men and children.
Chicago — Food production workers at El Milagro, one of Chicago’s most popular tortilla companies, join with community allies for a Day of the Dead vigil Nov. 2, 2021, in honor of five coworkers who died after contracting Covid-19 on the job. With candles and sugar skulls outside the company’s flagship taqueria in the Little Village neighborhood on the city’s Southwest Side, workers and supporters spoke about their ongoing standoff with management — and their demands for justice on the job. “We’re here to remember our coworkers, friends and loved ones who have passed on from Covid-19,” Guillermo Romero said at the vigil. “We’ll never forget them. But we continue in this fight, for ourselves, for our dignity and to get respect.” Romero has worked at the company for 16 years.
Every few days, Jaike Spotted-Wolf walks over to a well near Camp Migizi to refill several five-gallon water containers. At the camp, where Spotted-Wolf is one of several matriarchs, there is no plumbing, no pipes and no faucets. Residents take turns getting water, which they need for basics such as cooking and showers. The camp was — and is — one of several resistance camps formed to oppose Enbridge’s now-completed Line 3 project, which replaced a corroding oil pipeline built in the 1960s with a new, larger pipeline. The pipeline runs through northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin. Nearly a month and a half after oil-laden tar sands began flowing through the pipes, activists are still living at Camp Migizi and other sites.
In a time of high inflation, you hear a lot about companies “passing costs” on to customers. In order for companies to maintain their God-given right to earn a profit, they must raise prices to offset the cost of producing goods and getting them into peoples’ hands. And thanks mostly to the hidden risk, exposed by the pandemic, of neoliberal gospels like just-in-time logistics, deregulation, and offshoring, prices really are going up. But there’s something else mixed in with this latest bout of inflation. Companies aren’t just passing costs onto us. With corporations using inflation as a cover for raising their prices, you and I are passing profits onto companies. “Executives are seizing a once in a generation opportunity to raise prices,” reads a Wall Street Journal story explaining that around two-thirds of the largest publicly traded companies are showing profit margins higher today than they did in 2019, before the pandemic.
In a victory for employees at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, a federal labor official on Monday formally directed a new union election following allegations that the company engaged in illegal misconduct leading up to an unsuccessful vote in April. Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU), celebrated the order from National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 10 Director Lisa Henderson, which a spokesperson for the agency confirmed to multiple media outlets. "Today's decision confirms what we were saying all along—that Amazon's intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace—and as the regional director has indicated, that is both unacceptable and illegal," Appelbaum said.
Since achieving independence in 1956, Sudan has had a number of military coup governments and popular revolutions that overthrew them. Most recently, the Sudanese people ousted the thirty year long dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir at the end of 2018 only to replace him with another military-led government and a civilian figure head. Clearing the FOG speaks with Ahmed Kaballo, a British-Sudanese journalist and producer who just released his two-part documentary called "Sudan's Unfinished Revolution," which you can find here and here. Kaballo describes the history of the struggle in Sudan, the dire situation facing Sudan right now and the powers behind the current government. He exposes the lies being told in the corporate media about the fight for democracy in Sudan.
Four and a half million people died infected by COVID-19. This global tragedy is the prism through which we must analyse how and in whose interest the ruling system on the planet works. In the span of a few months, the pandemic compacted political, economic, and social phenomena, the consequences of which would take years to manifest in other circumstances. Some of the issues that were clearly magnified through the lens of the pandemic are job insecurity, deficits in health systems, inequality, North-South relations, the United Nations’ failure to coordinate a collective effort, the use of unilateral coercive measures as a weapon to control and punish many peoples, global economic vulnerability, and the role of the state.
Leading over Nasry Asfura, current mayor of the capital city Tegucigulpa and PAN candidate, as well as Yani Rosenthal, candidate for the Liberal Party, Castro is on track to become the first woman president of the Central American nation, and the first leftist leader of the country since her husband Manuel 'Mel' Zelaya was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup in 2009. With 16.01% of the votes vounted, representing nearly 3 million total votes, the Libre Party victor has secured 53.44% of the vote, whereas Asfura obtained 34.01% and Rosenthal 9.23%, whereas other candidates picked up the remaining 4%. Still to be announced by Honduras' National Electoral Council (CNE) is the breakdown of the vote for the 20 representatives to the Central American Parliament, 128 representatives to the National Congress, and the local leaders of 298 municipal corporations, which will be announced in the coming hours.
This is Ben Norton with The Grayzone. I am in Nicaragua’s Foreign Ministry, and I just sat down for an interview with Foreign Minister Denis Moncada. We talked about Nicaragua’s historic decision to leave the Organization of American States, and other regional issues here in Latin America. And we discussed how Nicaragua is part of a movement of countries around the world that are trying to create a new political and economic architecture, resisting US unilateralism and sanctions. Good morning, Foreign Minister Denis Moncada, thank you for the interview. On November 19, you announced that Nicaragua is leaving the OAS. Can you explain why Nicaragua made this historic decision?