By James DiEugenio for Consortium News -It is not very often that a documentary film can set a new paradigm about a recent event, let alone, one that is still in progress. But the new film Ukraine on Fire has the potential to do so – assuming that many people get to see it. Usually, documentaries — even good ones — repackage familiar information in a different aesthetic form. If that form is skillfully done, then the information can move us in a different way than just reading about it. A good example of this would be Peter Davis’s powerful documentary about U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Hearts and Minds. By 1974, most Americans understood just how bad the Vietnam War was, but through the combination of sounds and images, which could only have been done through film, that documentary created a sensation, which removed the last obstacles to America leaving Indochina.
By Steve Rushton for Occupy – Universal basic income is emerging as a realistic policy position across Europe. As we reported in late 2015, local authorities across the Netherlands are currently running trials to award every citizen unconditional money from the state. And this year, Finland started an experiment of 2,000 randomly selected people, all of whom currently receive out of work benefits. The first monthly payments of €560 ($590) were paid into those people’s accounts within the last week, and the trial will examine the impact of that money on overall employment. Now, sweeping further to the west, plans are underway to establish basic income in the Scottish councils of Glasgow and Fife, revealing a groundswell of interest that is sweeping the continent.
By Julie Hyland for WSWS – In the aftermath of the November 8 US presidential election, sections of the Democratic Party, the intelligence services and the media have intensified unsubstantiated pre-election claims that the Russian government hacked into Democratic Party email servers to undermine the campaign of Hillary Clinton. The immediate purpose was to distract from the content of the leaked emails, which exposed a conspiracy by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to undermine her challenger in the primaries, Bernie Sanders. With Trump’s victory, it has become the focus for a ferocious struggle within the ruling elite over foreign policy…
By Eleanor Penny for Open Democracy – European city councils have launched an initiative to co-ordinate their responses to the migrant crisis, in defiance of the apathy of some national governments. Nationalism, if it ever left us, is definitively back in vogue. With nationalist parties resurgent throughout Europe, more and more European nationals are vesting their political hopes in national governments. But for those new migrants without increasingly-coveted EU citizenship, the institutions most likely to come to their aid are not nation states, but local and city governments. For what now seems like a brief moment, the German state led the way in ‘progressive’ policies towards refugee reception
By Staff of DW – The ECJ has ruled that governments cannot force telecom firms to keep all customer data. The ruling, which says the laws violate basic privacy rights, comes as governments call for greater powers for spy agencies. The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled on Wednesday that laws allowing for the blanket collection and retention of location and traffic data are in breach of EU law. In their decision, the justices wrote that storing such data, which includes text message senders and recipients and call histories, allows for “very precise conclusions to be drawn concerning the private lives of the persons whose data has been retained.”
By Panagiotis Sotiris for Spectrezine – The refugee crisis has demonstrated the deep crisis of the European Union. For the past years not only it has not been able to deal with the arrival of a large number of refugees and migrants, but has resorted to the deadly, murderous policies of “Fortress Europe”. The result has been thousands of dead refugees and migrants in the waters of the Mediterranean. Some people say “there are too many refugees in the world”. Is this true? Well, numbers don’t add up. In 2015 the total number of migrants was 232 million, in a global population of 7.4 billion. Regarding refugees in particular, the numbers are indeed increasing.
By Staff for Tele Sur – “We also are children of immigrants, we grew up in poverty, the principle of sharing is part of who we are,” said Souleymane. A video inviting young residents of Paris’ immigrant suburbs to give free meals to homeless refugees went viral on Facebook, reaching over 50,000 views by Monday. “We also are children of immigrants, we grew up in poverty, the principle of sharing is part of who we are,” said Souleymane, a resident of the Sarcelles suburb where the project began.
By Ryan Gallagher for The Intercept – HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS have launched a major new legal challenge over mass surveillance programs revealed by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Ten organizations — including Privacy International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International — are taking up the landmark case against the U.K. government in the European Court of Human Rights (pictured above).
By Heather Stewart and Rowena Mason for The Guardian – Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to “wipe the slate clean” after winning a convincing victory in Labour’s bitter leadership battle, securing 62% of the vote. Speaking after the result was declared in Liverpool, Corbyn thanked his rival, Owen Smith, and urged the “Labour family” to unite after the summer-long contest. “We have much more in common than that which divides us. Let’s wipe that slate clean from today and get on with the work we’ve got to do as a party together,” he said.
By Yanis Varoufakis for Yanis Varoufakis – In the space of thirteen months two referenda shook up not only the European Union but also Europe’s Left: the Greek OXI in July 2015 and Brexit in June 2016. Exasperated by the EU’s mixture of authoritarianism and economic failure, a segment of Europe’s Left is now calling for a “break with the EU”, a stance that has come to be associated with the term Lexit. DiEM25, the transnational Democracy in Europe Movement, rejects the Lexit logic and offers an alternative Progressive Agenda for Europe.
By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig – WARSAW, Poland—Jaroslaw Kurski and Piotr Stasinski embody the hope that once was Poland. They struggled against the Communist regime for years in the underground press and as Solidarity members. They built Gazeta Wyborcza, now one of the most influential newspapers in the country, after the 1989 fall of communism. They helped usher in a period of democracy and open debate, one that included cultural space for historians such as Jan Gross, a Polish-born American who courageously confronted the taboo topic of Polish complicity in the Nazi extermination of nearly all of Poland’s 3 million Jews.
By Jessica Desvarieux for The Real News Network – Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Washington. President Obama met with NATO leaders in Warsaw last weekend to what seemed like a restatement of vows to protect Europe. Let’s take a listen to what the president had to say. So ready that the president will be sending 1,000 troops to Poland as one of four battalions that are being sent to countries bordering Russia. But what is really at the heart of this matter? Are these just tactics by the U.S. leading to an escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Russia?
By Blake Smith for Aeon. For nearly four centuries, the Atlantic slave trade brought millions of people into bondage. Scholars estimate that around 1.5 million people perished in the brutal middle passage across the Atlantic. The slave trade linked Africa, Europe and the Americas in a horrific enterprise of death and torture and profit. Yet, in the middle of the 18th century, as the slave trade boomed like never before, some notable European observers saw it as a model of free enterprise and indeed of ‘liberty’ itself. They were not slave traders or slave-ship captains but economic thinkers, and very influential ones. They were a pioneering group of economic thinkers committed to the principle oflaissez-faire: a term they themselves coined. United around the French official Vincent de Gournay (1712-1759), they were among the first European intellectuals to argue for limitations on government intervention in the economy. They organised campaigns for the deregulation of domestic and international trade, and they made the slave trade a key piece of evidence in their arguments.
By Simone Pieranni for Il Manifesto – When the meeting ended around 10 p.m. Friday, one of Unidos Podemos’ advisers in Madrid’s City Hall took back the mic and signaled for everyone to remain still: “They tell us that some members of the People’s Party have called the police to come here to denounce us because this may have been an illegal meeting, without permits.” A few people laughed. It was a clumsy attempt to discredit the rally. The man with the microphone shook his head and continued. “In fact, we do have permission, and we answer those ridiculous accusations like we always do: with a smile.” Applause.
By Jacob G. Hornberger for FFF – In its reporting on Brexit, the New York Times asks an interesting question: “Is the post-1945 order imposed on the world by the United States and its allies unraveling, too?” Hopefully, it will mean the unraveling of two of the most powerful and destructive governmental apparatuses that came out of the postwar era: NATO and the U.S. national-security state. In fact, although the mainstream media and the political establishment elites will never acknowledge it, the irony is that it is these two apparatuses that ultimately led to the Brexit vote: