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Education is the foundation of political change. In this section we provide news and analyses of current events that you won’t likely read or hear in the corporate media. Our sources are from organizations and independent media outlets free of corporate and government propaganda. We strongly encourage you to share these articles by email and social media so that together we create an echo chamber that overcomes the influence of the oligarchy. You will find large social media sharing buttons on the left side of each article when you open the article to read.

The US/EU/NATO Axis Of Domination Remains Greatest Threat To Peace

This commentary really should be part two from the piece I wrote last week in the run-up to the anti-war mobilization that took place March 18th which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In that article I made a similar argument about why the U.S. should be seen as the greatest threat to the survival of collective humanity on our planet. That point, however, needs to be reinforced because in typical arrogance, on the eve of that mobilization and the official March 20th date of the U.S. invasion, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Russia President Vladimir Putin while Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Barack Obama, responsible for horrific crimes against humanity and literally millions of deaths combined in Serbia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria, walk around as free individuals.

Multipolarity Was Triggered By The 2003 US Invasion Of Iraq

On the night of 19-20 March, 2003, the US air force began bombing the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The EU and NATO were deeply divided on whether to join the aggression: While newer NATO members from Central and Eastern Europe were in favor of the war, European heavyweights Paris and Berlin opposed it. The Iraq war also marked the onset of diplomatic coordination between Moscow and Beijing at the UN Security Council (UNSC). The two countries began in 2003 to apply similar voting patterns in the Council, first on Iraq, then on Libya in 2011, and over Syria in several key votes. That early Russia-China UN coordination has, 20 years later, transformed into a determined joint policy toward “guarding a new world order based on international law.”

US Forces Carry Out Airstrikes In Eastern Syria

US forces carried out a number of airstrikes inside Syria on Thursday, March 23, after accusing Iran-backed groups of carrying out a drone attack at a US base in Hasakah in north-eastern Syria on the same day. Though there are some reports of deaths caused by the US airstrikes, there are no confirmed reports and numbers yet. A Rudaw report quoted a UK-based war monitor that claimed at least eight “[militia members] affiliated with Iran” were killed. Al-Mayadeen has reported civilian deaths without specifying any numbers. The US had claimed that at least one of their contractors was killed and six others injured in the drone strike at 1:38 am on Thursday at a base in Hasakah. Five of the six injured were reportedly US soldiers.

Government Hasn’t Justified A Tiktok Ban

So we are troubled by growing demands in the United States for restrictions on TikTok, a technology that many people have chosen to exchange information with others around the world. Before taking such a drastic step, the government must come forward with specific evidence showing, at the very least, a real problem and a narrowly tailored solution. So far, the government hasn’t done so. Nearly all social media platforms and other online businesses collect a lot of personal data from their users. TikTok raises special concerns, given the surveillance and censorship practices of its home country, China. Still, the best solution to these problems is not to single-out one business or country for a ban.

Ahead Of The Final Four, Houston Criminalizes Homelessness

In Houston, TX., where the NCAA Final Four (college basketball tournament championship games) will take place March 31 – April 3, the mayor’s office has taken it a step beyond displacing the unhoused. Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office has ordered police to target people feeding those in need. After opening a facility to move people miles from downtown from a homeless encampment near Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center, Mayor Turner began invoking old city ordinances to ticket Food Not Bombs Houston (FNBH) food-sharing volunteers and trying to discourage them from doing what they’ve done for decades: feeding people at the Houston Public Library every night.

Fossil Fuel Firms Fast-track LNG Export Projects Near Black Communities

Years before Hurricane Katrina levee failures flooded New Orleans, a Louisiana hurricane expert warned federal officials of the potential for the levees to break. Now, Ivor van Heerden, the former deputy director of Louisiana State University’s Hurricane Center, is concerned about the disastrous and potentially lethal consequences of a hurricane hitting a liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal under construction south of New Orleans. “Once again we’ve got politicians and state agencies ignoring the facts, just like they did with Hurricane Katrina,” van Heerden said. “We’re going to have another catastrophe.”

How Cigna Saves Millions By Rejecting Claims Without Reading Them

When a stubborn pain in Nick van Terheyden’s bones would not subside, his doctor had a hunch what was wrong. Without enough vitamin D in the blood, the body will pull that vital nutrient from the bones. Left untreated, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis. A blood test in the fall of 2021 confirmed the doctor’s diagnosis, and van Terheyden expected his company’s insurance plan, managed by Cigna, to cover the cost of the bloodwork. Instead, Cigna sent van Terheyden a letter explaining that it would not pay for the $350 test because it was not “medically necessary.” The letter was signed by one of Cigna’s medical directors, a doctor employed by the company to review insurance claims.

Strike The Women, You Strike The Rock, You Will Be Crushed

What constitutes a crisis worthy of global attention? When a regional bank in the United States falls victim to the inversion of the yield curve (i.e., when short-term bond interest rates become higher than long-term rates), the Earth nearly stops spinning. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) – one of the most important financiers of technology start-ups in the United States – on 10 March presaged wider chaos in the Western financial world. In the days after the SVB debacle, Signature Bank, one of the few banks to accept cryptocurrency deposits, faced bankruptcy, and then Credit Suisse, an established European bank set up in 1856, fell due its longstanding poor management of risk.

20 Years After Iraq, Corporate Media Defends US War Crimes

United States troops began the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003 under the direction of president George W. Bush. The death toll estimates for Iraqi civilians vary between 275,000 and 654,000 as a direct result of warfare, with one study estimating as many as 1 million deaths . If even the lowest figure is correct, the U.S. committed a horrific war crime, a deliberate attack on a civilian population. In 2003 thousands of people massed in protest across the country. On February 15, 2003 , millions gathered around the world in the largest protests since the Vietnam war. While public opinion was divided, the corporate media firmly sided with the Bush administration.

Russian Jet Intercepts Two US B-52 Bombers Moving Towards Its Borders

A Russian Sukhoi Su-35 intercepted two US B-52H bombers that were allegedly moving towards its border over the Baltic Sea, TASS reported on Monday, March 20 citing Russia’s Defense Ministry. The Ministry claimed that the Russian jet had to scramble to intercept the two bombers and only returned “after foreign military planes move[ed] away from the state border of the Russian Federation.” It added that the two US bombers were not allowed to violate Russian state borders and the sortie of the Russian jet fighter was performed in strict compliance with international law. This was the third such air incident between the forces of Russia and the NATO countries in the last week.

First-Of-Its-Kind Study Casts More Shade On Forest Carbon Offsets

Yet another report has cast doubt on the accuracy and reliability of the carbon credits companies and individuals purchase to offset their climate-polluting emissions. The first-of-its-kind peer-reviewed study, published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change Tuesday, looked at almost 300 projects that made up 11 percent of the carbon credits on offer to date. It found that methods for calculating the carbon credits were often in conflict with scientific best-practices, which increased the risk of “significant over-estimation” of the amount of carbon a project might keep from the atmosphere. The report comes around two months after a major investigation found that 94 percent of the forest offset credits verified by top carbon credit certifier Verra did not truly offset any emissions.

Pesticide Giant Criticised For ‘Greenwashing’ Partnership

Bayer, the world’s second largest crop chemicals company, sponsored a French influencer to create and share pro-pesticides content with over 300,000 followers on her Instagram account, an investigation has revealed. Jenny Letellier – one of France’s biggest YouTubers with nearly 4 million subscribers – has come under fire for the sponsored content, which was broadcasted via a series of videos from France’s leading agriculture fair last month. This content was produced in conjunction with Morgan Niquet, a YouTuber with 1.3 million subscribers. French media outlet Vakita, which broke the story, obtained a copy of the contract between the German multinational and Letellier that specified how the social media campaign was tailored to meet clear PR objectives for the company.

Russia And China Summit: The Reconfiguration Of World Power

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed newly re-elected Chinese President Xi Jinping for a three day summit in Moscow earlier this week. As they conclude their three day meeting, Putin and Xi leave a paper trail of documents demonstrating a significant development in Sino-Russian relations, with both leaders expressing admiration and allegiance for each other’s countries. From the war in Ukraine to economic cooperation to Latin America, the two leaders found themselves eye to eye on a number of issues and even went as far as welcoming the “new era” with two joint statements: on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era and on the Pre-2030 Development Plan on Priorities in China-Russia Economic Cooperation.

G7 VS Brics — Off To The Races

Last summer, the Group of 7 (G7), a self-anointed forum of nations that view themselves as the most influential economies in the world, gathered at Schloss Elmau, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, to hold their annual meeting. Their focus was punishing Russia through additional sanctions, further arming of Ukraine and the containment of China. At the same time, China hosted, through video conference, a gathering of the BRICS economic forum. Comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, this collection of nations relegated to the status of so-called developing economies focused on strengthening economic bonds, international economic development and how to address what they collectively deemed the counter-productive policies of the G7.

Today’s Banking Crisis: Deep Origins And Future Directions

It’s been a week since the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank, the 16th largest bank in the US at the time of its collapse and reportedly a source of funding for half of all the tech start ups in the US. It’s now become clear the more general banking crisis that has emerged is not due simply to a rogue, mismanaged bank that over-extended itself during the recent tech boom and then somehow mysteriously imploded in just 72 hours, March 7-9, until seized by the FDIC on the morning of March 10, 2023. Deeper, more systemic forces are at play—in the case of both the SVB collapse and the now spreading contagion to US regional banks as well as to European banks.
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