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May 2024

Brazil’s Flood Of Austerity And Climate Catastrophe

Meteorological agencies and officials predicted the events with eerie precision. A week into the flood, experts pointed to the extraordinary rainfall as the primary cause. Estael Sias, managing director of the weather forecaster MetSul, wrote that this was not ‘just an episode of extreme rain’, but ‘a meteorological event whose adjectives are all superlative, from extraordinary to exceptional’. The seemingly unending rain, she wrote, ‘is absurdly and bizarrely different from what is normal’. It will take a very long time for this region of Brazil to recover from the flood. Within the floodwaters are several encampments and settlements of Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), about which we published a dossier last month to commemorate the movement’s 40th anniversary.

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 237: Invasion Of Rafah And Northern Gaza

The Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry announced that the remaining hospitals in the Gaza Strip received 240 slain Palestinians in Israeli airstrikes since Monday, May 27, while 1134 others arrived wounded. Meanwhile, local media sources reported that in the past 24 hours, Israeli strikes killed seven Palestinians in strikes on a shelter for displaced families in Gaza City. Reports also indicated that Israeli troops detonated several houses in the Sheikh Zayed neighborhood in the city. Israeli forces also targeted the areas of Beit Lahia, Zeitoun, Beit Hanoun, and Jabalia with drone strikes and shelling. Israeli ground troops partially withdrew from Jabalia after a several-week-long invasion.

Falsified US State Department Report Inspires Yet Another Resignation

Stacey Gilbert, a former senior civil military advisor in the U.S. State department bureau of population where she dealt with refugees and migration, has recently resigned from her position. Her departure on Tuesday comes after the publication of a falsified report which concludes, despite disagreement from the experts who drafted the report, that Israel has not prevented aid from entering into the Gaza Strip amid widespread famine and humanitarian disaster. Additionally, contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAid), Alexander Smith, stepped down from his position this week, making the list of U.S. officials who have resigned explicitly citing Biden’s Palestine/Israel policy nearly ten.

Congress Trains Academia To Deny Genocide

“Do you think Israel’s government is genocidal?” That’s the question that Rep. Bob Good, a Republican of Virginia, fired at Jonathan Holloway, president of Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, last week in a U.S. House committee hearing. Holloway, a scholar of African American history who has been steadily climbing the ladder of administrative positions at top-tier schools, looked stunned. “Um sir, I don’t … have an opinion on Israel’s um …in terms of that phrase.” Good: “You do not have an opinion as to whether Israel’s government is genocidal?” Holloway: “Uh, no sir, I think Israel has a right to exist and protect itself.” Good: “Do you think Israel’s government is genocidal?” Holloway: “I think Israel has a right to exist and protect itself, sir.”

The West Is Hell-Bent On Provoking Russia Into A Hot War

The warning by President Putin could not be starker: “In the event of the use of long-range weapons, the Russian Armed Forces will again have to make decisions about expanding the sanitary zone further (…) Do they want global conflict? It seemed they wanted to negotiate [with us], but we don’t see much desire to do this.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov then came up with the appropriate metaphor to designate NATO’s ramped-up military outbursts: not only NATO is raising the degree of escalation but delving into a warlike "ecstasy". It does not get more serious than that. “They”, as Putin alluded to, do seem to want “global conflict”. That’s at the heart of NATO’s new suicidal “ecstasy” strategy.

Venezuela’s Far-Right Opposition Plans Post-Electoral Violence

The first vice president of the United Socialist Party (PSUV), Diosdado Cabello, has confirmed and condemned a new destabilizing plan of post-electoral violence led by the far-right Venezuelan opposition and the White House, scheduled to gave been in operation from July 28 to July 31. The political leader warned during his television program Con el Mazo Dando this Wednesday, May 29, that the far-right opposition and their backing in US imperialism intend to lead the Latin American nation into a civil war. The head of the ruling party bench in the Venezuelan National Assembly used a pamphlet circulating in Caracas and Miami as an example of proof of this revelation, through which far-right groups drafted a method to generate violence.

Kenya’s President Defies His Country’s Constitution And Court To Invade Haiti

Mwai Kibaki became president from 2002 to 2013, then Uhuru Kenyatta from 2013 to 2022. When Ruto was elected nothing much changed. Corruption remained endemic, and I think this explains a lot, though you don’t see it highlighted in Western media, because Kenya is a Western ally. Same thing with Ukraine. I think this corruption creates a pressure point for Western nations. Our leaders store their ill-gotten wealth in the West, in property, tax havens, and so forth, and it could all be sanctioned and seized if they didn’t do what the West wants. The same is true of a lot of African leaders. Also, our president now, William Ruto, is one of six guys who were sent to stand trial at the ICC.

Newsflash: Inequality In Neoliberal America

If anyone is perplexed or surprised  why Americans are so upset about the economy, they should look no further than the Income Distribution and Dynamics in America (IDDA) recent report by the Federal Reserve Board of  Minneapolis and its data site that looks at the stagnation of American income and economic mobility in America.  It unfortunately confirms what we already know—the neoliberal state benefits unevenly and in ways that confound an ability to challenge it.. America is built upon two myths, the myth of equality and the myth of the American dream. The myth of equality is the idea that we all have an equal opportunity to succeed. 

From ‘An Economy Of Hope’ To The US Federation Of Worker Cooperatives

The first Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy was attended by 96 people mostly worker co-op owners and members of support organizations from Ohio to Maine, New Orleans to Washington, DC, and in between. We had agreed we would have been happy if only 20 people showed up, so having almost 100 people at our first conference was quite an achievement! We also felt strongly that any democratic workplace (such as 100% worker owned ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Companies) and democratically run nonprofits) was welcome.

Nepal’s Self-Managing Forests And The Duck That Dares To Love

Nepal’s unique approach to community-based conservation means the country’s 118 different ecosystem variants are very much alive. The country boasts more than 950 species of birds, 13,067 species of plants, and 17,097 species of animals, including one-horned rhinos, Bengal tigers, Asiatic elephants, gaurs, and red pandas. Thanks in part to 22,500 forest community user groups, forest cover in Nepal has risen from 25% to 45% since the 1990s, making it one of the few developing countries to expand its forest cover. Nearly 40% of Nepali households are involved in some way. This is supported by the fact that now more than 23% of Nepal’s land is protected by the government.

When Nicaragua Took Germany To Court, Media Put Nicaragua In The Dock

When Nicaragua accused Germany of aiding and abetting Israel’s genocide in Gaza at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last month, readers of corporate media might have seriously wondered whether Nicaragua’s case had any legitimacy. The case targeted Germany as the second biggest supplier of arms to Israel, because the US, Israel’s biggest supplier, does not accept the court’s jurisdiction on this issue. The object (as Nicaragua’s lawyer explained) was to create a precedent with wider application: that countries must take responsibility for the consequences of their arms sales to avoid them being used in breach of international law.

The Climate Crisis Is Directly Related To Inequality

In an interview with Rachel Donald of the podcast Planet: Critical, science historian Naomi Oreskes spoke about her new book, The Big Myth: How American Business Taught Us to Loathe Government and Love the Free Market, cowritten with Erik M. Conway. She explored why our climate is in crisis, detailing how institutions, lobbyists, and corporations continue to undermine democracy; and why a renewable world threatens the powers that be. Ultimately, Oreskes points out that the climate crisis is not a scientific problem, but a political, economic, and social issue. Oreskes is a professor at Harvard University who co-authored the bestselling book Merchants of Doubt, and has written nearly 200 scholarly papers and popular articles.

If You Want To See White ‘Supremacy’ At Work, Don’t Go To A Trump Rally

Last week, Professor Jerel Ezell (University of California, Berkeley) penned a piece for the New York Times suggesting that Joe Biden and the Democrats greatly underestimate how salient an issue climate change is for the Black voters who will certainly have a marked impact on the outcome of the upcoming elections in November. In their piece, Ezell posits, “Democratic strategists seem to see climate change as a key political issue only for white liberal elites and assume that other groups, like Black voters, are either unaware or apathetic about it.” Unfortunately, this sentiment is held not only by, majority white and affluent, Democratic Party strategists, but has also long been held  by the environmental nonprofit apparatus as well as far too many liberal and conservative elements of the Black Misleadership Class who continue to transmit a feckless notion that environmentalism is a “white people’s thing.”

Call To Action: The ICSGP Denounces Israel’s Brutal Attacks On Rafah

The International Coalition to Stop Genocide in Palestine (ICSGP) abhors the brutal slaughter in recent days by the Israeli Occupation Forces of displaced Palestinians who had been living in tents in Rafah. This is a flagrant violation of the International Court of Justice’s May 24 order, at the request of South Africa, that Israel cease its operations there. Coming after nearly eight months of genocidal attacks, including induced famine, these massacres leave no room for doubt about Israel’s intent to wipe out the population of Gaza, even as it has intensified genocidal attacks in the West Bank. 

How The ICC Case Against Israeli Leaders Was Made Possible

The request for international arrest warrants against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and war minister Yoav Gallant, alongside three Hamas leaders, came as a surprise to many, not least of which Israel. For what was likely a first, its top leaders were being confronted judicially for their violations of international law. Although Israel had been spying on the International Criminal Court (ICC) for years, as revealed in a recent exposé by The Guardian, the outrage Netanyahu displayed betrayed indignation at the fact that the wall of impunity for Israeli leaders was showing signs of cracking. For Palestinians, the news was long-awaited. Palestinian human rights groups have been tirelessly campaigning for such a move for years.
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