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Lebanon’s Multidimensional Crisis

Rania Khalek of BreakThrough News explains the various aspects of the crisis faced by Lebanon. Banks have been shut down following heist attempt by desperate account holders and electricity and telecom networks are crumbling. Most Lebanese are struggling to purchase essentials. Meanwhile, the country is locked in a dangerous dispute with Israel over offshore gas fields – all of this while having no government.

Clint Halftown, US-Enabled Tyrant Of The Cayugas

It was a dark, cold Saturday morning in late February 2020, and pandemic lockdowns were less than a month away. Leanna Young was lying in bed, still sleepy. On days like this, her husband would get picked up by her brother, Daren, who worked security at a Gayogo̱hó:nǫ’ (Cayuga) community center on Cayuga territory. Her husband worked there, too. Most of the adults in her family did—it provided them with jobs, with financial stability. But by 6:05AM on Feb. 22, Leanna could still hear her husband in the kitchen. “Jesus, why is he still here?” she wondered. “He’s supposed to be clocked in by now.” Many of the kids in the community had spent the night at Grandma Wanda’s. For Leanna’s eight-year-old daughter, Evee, it was her first sleepover.

Haitians Mobilize Against Insecurity And High Cost Of Living

On Monday, August 22, thousands of Haitians took to the streets across the country to protest against rampant insecurity, chronic gang violence and a rising cost of living. The protesters demanded the resignation of Prime Minister and acting President Ariel Henry, arguing that under his management, the economic and social crisis deepened in the Caribbean country. In the capital of Port-au-Prince, members of several civil society organizations, popular movements, trade unions, and opposition parties held a massive rally, condemning fuel shortages and soaring prices of essential commodities and basic services. Protesters blocked roads with burning tires in and around the capital. Haiti’s central bank reported that inflation had reached 29% and hit a 10-year high.

Colombia: Francia Márquez Announces Creation Of Ministry Of Equality

Colombia - The Vice President of Colombia, Francia Márquez, symbolically took office in her homeland, in the department of Cauca, where she announced that this week the creation of the Ministry of Equality, which she herself will lead, will be filed in Congress. The formation of this new portfolio will be made to “take on the greatest challenge that Colombia has: inequality”, in the words of the vice-president. In this sense, “the agreement was to create a Ministry of Equality, and this project will be submitted to the Congress this week” and they hope it will be approved urgently”. In the municipality of Suarez (Cauca), the vice president also celebrated being “the first Afro-descendant woman vice president of Colombia and the second Afro-descendant woman vice president in Latin America (…), a daughter of this people”.

Historically Low Approval Ratings Show The US Regime In Crisis

Only 36 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. system of government is sound, according to a new poll from Monmouth University. This number is a significant drop from previous polls which showed that even as recently as 2020, 52 percent felt the system was sound. This historic drop — down from 62 percent of responders who said that the system was sound in 1980 — is the result of sustained decrease in Americans’ faith in the government over the past several years. A recent Gallup poll which measures faith in 16 different institutions — including governmental institutions as well as institutions more broadly defined such as the medical system and small businesses — backed up these findings. The poll found that the average level of faith in institutions is at an all-time low and that faith in 11 of the institutions that they measure has dropped significantly.

Democratic Deficits At The Summit For Democracy

The so-called “Summit for Democracy” should first agree on a definition of what democracy means. Whereas etymologically we know that the definition of democracy means rule by the people, instinctively we feel that people power must be more than a slogan, that it must be concretized by genuine public participation in the conduct of public affairs. There are, of course, many manifestations or “models” of democracy, exercised nationally as well as locally in provinces and communities. The spectrum of democratic governance goes from direct democracy by way of citizen power of initiative and the possibility to challenge legislation by way of referenda, to participatory democracy through public meetings and voting on specific issues by ballot (or even show of hands!), to representative democracy through the election of parliamentarians with specific mandates, to presidential democracy by electing a president with wide-ranging powers.

The Post Office At A Crossroads

USPS has a public service mandate to provide a similar level of service to communities across the country regardless of local economic conditions. In addition to daily mail delivery to far-flung locations, the Postal Service maintains post offices even in low-income urban neighborhoods and small towns that lack other basic services. The Postal Service is able to fulfill its mission while keeping postage rates low due to economies of scale. Once the fixed costs of post offices and delivery are covered, the additional cost of new services is often minimal. If it weren’t prevented from doing so, the Postal Service could take advantage of underused capacity and build on Americans’ trust in the Postal Service to offer new services to the public while bringing needed revenue to the agency.

A Glimpse Of China’s ‘Whole-Process Democracy’

The notion of Chinese democracy is not the same as that in the West. The political system in China is more about consensus building within a greater voice rather than the protracted bargaining to arrive at decisions common in the West. The country’s application of democratic principles follows an approach Chinese President Xi Jinping has termed “whole-process people’s democracy.” The concept was put forward about two years ago, during Xi’s visit to a civic center in Shanghai. Based on people’s congress system, the “whole-process people’s democracy” enables the Chinese people to broadly and continuously participate in the day-to-day political activities at all levels, including democratic elections, political consultation, decision-making and oversight. The story of Chinese lawmaker Liu Li gives a glimpse into how China’s whole-process democracy operates.

Governments Still Fall Dangerously Short Of Paris Agreement Commitments

The 2021 Production Gap Report, first published in 2019, measures the gap between governments’ planned production of coal, oil, and gas and the global production levels consistent with meeting the Paris Agreement temperature limits. But two years later, the 2021 report finds the production gap mostly unchanged. In fact, over the next two decades, governments are collectively projecting an increase in global oil and gas production, and only a small decrease in coal production. Taken together, their plans and projections see global, total fossil fuel production increasing until at least 2040, creating an ever-widening gap. “The devastating impacts of climate change are here for all to see. There is still time to limit long-term warming to 1.5°C, but this window of opportunity is rapidly closing,” says Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.

Is It Time To Create A UN Political Body For Climate Change?

United nations  - As a wisecracking cynic once remarked: “The sun would never set on the British empire because God wouldn’t trust an Englishman in the dark“. Perhaps it was an uncharitable remark because most of the British colonies have long gone. But when i quoted this witticism to a British journalist, he countered: “I am sure it was told by a Scotsman.“ Since Scotland is not a colony, its demand for independence is not a matter of decolonization, which is virtually dead on the UN’s political agenda. The United Nations, at its very inception 76 years ago, created a Trusteeship Council, one of its main organs, with a mandate to supervise the administration of trust territories as they transitioned from colonies to sovereign nations.

Council Of The Haida Nation, Feds, And Province Sign Historic Agreement

A historic new agreement, between the Council of the Haida Nation and both federal and provincial governments, has been signed as a framework agreement setting the stage to reconciliation negotiations, a combined media announcement stated, on Aug 13. The agreement, signed by the Haida Nation, the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, as well as Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, recognizes the Haida Nation’s inherent Title and Rights with respect to the geographic area. The GayG̱ahlda agreement which means “Changing Tide”, also includes the intrinsic right of the Haida to self-govern. “GayG̱ahlda represents an important opportunity to begin the process of Tll Yahda ‘making things right’ between the Crown governments and the Haida Nation,” Gaagwiis Jason Alsop, president of the Haida Nation, said.

The Real Danger Of Israel’s New Government

The new Israeli government takes office already largely paralyzed. With eight diverse parties, they agree only on two things. One, they want to get rid of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Check — that’s done. Two, given the unlikeliness of reaching agreement on any major policy changes, they all agree that the current situation of occupation and apartheid for Palestinians is quite sustainable for Jewish Israelis. For now, the status quo will prevail. And that’s a problem. Despite the presence of centrist, center-left, and one small Palestinian party, power in the new government lies with the far right. New Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a longtime leader of Israel’s illegal settlers, has bragged about being significantly to the right of his far-right mentor, Netanyahu. 

Thousands Take To The Streets Saying ‘Kill The Bill’

Thousands took part in a weekend of action against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The size and passion of the demos shows that people are willing to fight to stop this bill, which the Conservative government tried to sneak through under the cover of the coronavirus (Covid-19) health crisis. 50 demonstrations were called across the UK. The proposed Police Bill is arguably the biggest attack on our freedoms since the Public Order Acts of the ‘80s and ‘90s. The controversial bill passed its second reading in parliament during March. The bill will give the police unprecedented draconian powers to arrest protesters, and will criminalise trespass, effectively outlawing the livelihoods of the UK’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities.

On Contact: America’s Secret Government

On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses the rise of America's secret government with journalist and author David Talbot. David Talbot's book is ‘The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government’.

Carbon Offsets Offer A Fantasy Of Capitalism Without Crises

Governments, companies and sometimes entire sectors are increasingly proposing to use carbon offsets in response to the deepening climate crisis. In theory, offsetting allows organisations to compensate for their own emissions by paying towards low-carbon projects elsewhere, but the practice has been mired in scientific problems and scandals, and it has been widely critiqued in the social sciences. With the UK government now seeking to turn London into a global hub for the carbon offset trade, it’s worth asking why it is still so prominent. My research on what I have called the fantasy of carbon offsetting helps explain the situation. Carbon offset credits are created when a standards organisation declares that a project has reduced or avoided greenhouse gas emissions (a solar farm that “replaces” a coal power plant, say) or instead has removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stored it somewhere (by planting lots of trees, for instance).
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