Millions across the West Africa Sahel region and around the world have loudly objected to the imperialist-instigated threats against the newly installed National Council for the Defense of the Homeland (CNSP) government in Niger. From left political groupings to more moderate and even conservative forces recognize the grave danger inherent in the proclamations of some members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to stage a military intervention into Niger aimed at restoring the former President Mohamed Bazoum. In Niger itself, thousands of young people have appeared at the main stadium in the capital of Niamey to sign up as volunteers committed to defend the uranium-rich state in the case of a hostile invasion.
In its summit in Johannesburg, South Africa this August, BRICS invited six new members: Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The bloc now represents 37% of global GDP (measured at purchasing power parity, or PPP), as well as 40% of global oil production and roughly 1/3rd of global gas production. The inclusion of top oil producers like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have long priced their crude in dollars, is a direct challenge to the US petrodollar system. All of the invited nations have indicated that they will officially join the extended BRICS+ bloc on 1 January 2024.
The whitewashing of the historical context for the war in Ukraine has resulted in a profoundly embarrassing episode for the United States embassy in Prague. An Aug. 21 Tweet from the embassy with a message roughly translated from Czech to mean “Aggression always comes from the Kremlin,” showed two photographs: the first displayed Soviet tanks in the streets of Prague in 1968. The second showed fire burning in front of a building and was marked “Odesa 2023.” Twitter users were quick to point out the embassy’s error. “The bottom photo is from 2014 Odessa Clashes where pro federalism (mostly pro Russian) got burned alive in clash with Ukrainian nationalist(s) while police and fireman stood watching.
Thirteen years after the onset of the war on Syria, a domestic political eruption backed by foreign states has resurfaced, threatening to once again ignite conflict in the country despite years of relative calm. Economic woes today underpin the public grievances expressed on the street. The much-heralded May 2023 reinstatement of Syria in the Arab League has thus far failed to deliver any significant political or economic relief for the beleaguered Levantine state. Instead, Syria's economy continues to deteriorate with the devaluation of the national currency against the dollar.
Indigenous peoples are disproportionately affected by wildfire evacuations and thousands of these evacuees have been displaced for the long term, like Michell and his family. Indigenous peoples make up five per cent of Canada’s population but experience 42 per cent of wildfire evacuation events, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. This year, 25,000 people from 79 First Nations have had to leave home because of wildfires, Indigenous Services Canada told The Breach by email. In the past decade, 70,824 First Nations people have been evacuated from their communities because of wildfires, the department’s data shows.
A quick trip through any major American city and you can see it for yourself – “tent cities” underneath highways or alongside parks, people sleeping on the sidewalk, overcrowded and resource-stripped shelters. It is estimated that there are nearly 600,000 homeless people across the US, marking the highest yearly surge since the government began tracking the data in 2007, according to the Wall Street Journal. Major cities like Los Angeles are seeing homeless populations spike almost 10 percent from last year. This problem has been deeply exacerbated in the post-pandemic era. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, rent was already skyrocketing due to inflation levels as well as “development projects”, forcing long-time residents, mainly minorities, out of their own neighborhoods.
July 26 marked the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The 1990 law intended “to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination” against individuals with disabilities. The occasion connected with some serious, multi-layered stories, including news of a critical ruling that the state of Florida has been violating the rights of children with complex medical needs by keeping them institutionalized when they could be living in community. A sizable admixture of stories, though, were reports on buildings or spaces coming into compliance with the ADA—as though complying with a 33-year-old law was a feel-good story, and despite a relative absence of feel-bad stories about decades of noncompliance.
After over four years of our court case dragging on, my co-defendants and I are scheduled to go on trial Sept. 8 in Sonoma County, California. We are facing dozens of criminal charges, including eight felonies, for nonviolent animal rescues. Growing up, I prided myself on following the rules. I was a straight-A student and faithful Catholic. My teachers trusted me so much they let me teach the class. Today, I’ve been arrested multiple times as part of a group that’s being surveilled by the FBI. It might surprise you to know I still love following rules and doing what is right, but my understanding of what’s right has changed.
On Wednesday 30th August, District Judge Grego found two activists not guilty of ‘obstruction of the highway’. The two activists, Jasmine and Iola, had locked themselves into vehicles, each blocking the two entrances of UAV Engines Ltd. Their action took place during an ongoing camp at the site, and led to the factory being forced to close down for the day on 9th September 2022. Whilst locked in, one activist threw paint at the gates which resembled the colours of the Palestinian flag. Three months after the action, the two were given notices of ‘no further action’, meaning no criminal charges would be brought against them.
Thick black smoke billowed and flames rose from two chemical storage tanks at the Marathon Petroleum refinery between Reserve and Garyville, Louisiana, on Friday. Geraldine Watkins saw the towers of smoke through the passenger seat window of a car that morning, while she was on her way to a court hearing about whether another tract of land in St. John the Baptist Parish, where Garyville is located, would be zoned for heavy industrial use. Despite the alarming view, no community-wide alarms had sounded when a naphtha leak started a fire at the refinery earlier that morning.
A new study by Joshua Pearce of London’s Western University and Richard Parncutt of the University of Graz in Austria has found that, if global heating reaches or surpasses two degrees Celsius by the year 2100, there is a high probability that over the next century humans, mostly the wealthiest, will be responsible for the deaths of approximately one billion mostly poorer humans. Many of the most powerful and profitable businesses on the planet are part of the oil and gas industry, which is both indirectly and directly responsible for over 40 percent of carbon emissions, which impact billions of lives in some of the world’s most remote communities that have the least resources, reported Western News.
The dangers of heat stress for both indoor and outdoor workers is only increasing as our planet continues to warm. In the food system, farmworkers, warehouse workers, restaurant workers and street vendors are some of the most impacted, but this is a hazard for workers across all sectors, like construction workers and delivery drivers. Incarcerated people are also extremely vulnerable to the dangers of heat stress. Yet, federal OSHA has no standard to protect workers from the dangers of heat exposure. A small number of states have created their own standards: California, Minnesota, Washington, and last year, Oregon and Colorado.
Wild celebrations have broken out on the streets of Gabon’s cities on Wednesday after a military junta announced on television that it had put President Ali Bongo Ondimba under house arrest and had seized power. The Bongo family had ruled the former French colony since 1967. Ali Bongo was the wealthiest man in Gabon with an estimated $1 billion in assets. The coup took place just after the country’s electoral commission declared that he won a third term. It is the fifth coup in a West African country once ruled directly by France since August 2020, when Mali fell to military leaders.
When US Acting Deputy Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, traveled to South Africa on July 29, her reputation as a blunt instrument of Washington’s hegemonic interests preceded her. According to a veteran South African official who attended meetings with the senior US diplomat in Pretoria, however, Nuland and her team were demonstrably unprepared to grapple with recent developments on the African continent — particularly the military coup that removed Niger’s pro-Western government hours before she launched her multi-stop tour of the region. “In over 20 years working with the Americans, I have never seen them so desperate,” the official told The Grayzone, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The Biden regime’s robotic procession to Beijing proceeds apace. Following Antony Blinken’s fruitless visit in mid–June, we have paid Janet Yellen’s airfare for another fruitless visit, and following Yellen it was the same for John Kerry. This week it is Gina Raimondo’s turn. The secretary of state, the Treasury secretary, the chief climate envoy, and the commerce secretary: What is the point of this parade? I cannot but wonder whether these officials are dispatched across the Pacific in descending order of competence. Raimondo, who previously flopped as governor of Rhode Island—except for her plan to cut civil service pensions, an unfortunate success—is mediocrity made flesh.