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US Reimposes Illegal And Inhumane Oil Sanctions On Venezuela

A minute after midnight on April 18, the US reimposed coercive economic measures designed to cripple Venezuela’s oil industry. Later that day, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a new sanctions bill on Nicaragua. Meanwhile, Cuba protested the US’s six-decade blockade as talks resumed between the two countries on migration. At a time of challenged US dollar hegemony and questioning of the neoliberal order, the three countries striving to build socialist societies in the Americas pose a “threat of a good example.” Also on April 18,  Biden announced new sanctions on Iran.

Iran Says ‘No External Aggression’ Following Mysterious Drone Attack

Iranian air defenses intercepted a domestic drone attack on the cities of Isfahan and Tabriz early on 19 April. Iranian officials said military and nuclear facilities were safe and that there was no damage. “The sound was related to Isfahan's air defense systems firing at suspicious objects and we have not had any damage or accident,” said Iranian army commander Siavash Mihandoust. State news outlet IRNA reported that “the city and province of Isfahan are in a normal condition” after the downing of the three drones.

Lessons From China

On a daily basis the corporate media, members of Congress, and courtier pundits who refuse to do a basic internet search, make reference to the non-existent Chinese Communist Party and to a non-existent abbreviation, CCP. There has been a Communist Party of China (CPC) for more than 100 years. The repetition of easily provable misinformation is just one indication of the degree of manufactured hostility towards the People's Republic of China and of the extraordinarily high levels of ignorance manufactured by the state in the U.S.

Requiem For The New York Times

I am sitting in the auditorium at The New York Times. It is the first time I have been back in nearly two decades. It will be the last. The newspaper is a pale reflection of what it was when I worked there, beset by numerous journalistic fiascos, rudderless leadership and myopic cheerleading of the military debacles in the Middle East, Ukraine and the genocide in Gaza, where one of the Times contributions to the mass slaughter of Palestinians was an editorial refusing to back an unconditional ceasefire. Many seated in the auditorium are culpable.

Israel’s Celebrity Charm Offensive

Since Israel launched a war on Gaza in October, it’s been accused of genocide, been on trial for war crimes, and seen allies stop approving weapons shipments. Yet amid the storm of negative press and genocidal war, some organizations are attempting to shift the narrative in Israel’s favor by taking celebrities and social media influencers on propaganda-fueled trips to Israel.

How The United States Is Waging Economic War On China

In our last two shows, we looked at China’s economy and where it was headed, busting major Western myths about it, and highlighting the differences between the Chinese and US economies that explain the dynamism of the former and the productive decline of the latter. We spoke about how China was embarked on engineering the next industrial revolution through a major structural transformation, not only to continue its high growth, but also to improve its quality, technologically and in human terms. And in doing this, China is increasingly taking the technological lead in more and more frontier sectors, including green technology, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology.

Film Activists Better

If you film your campaign group in action, the footage can be used on social media or even broadcast news to get the message out to a wider audience. By filming it yourself, you are being part of DIY (Do It Yourself) culture and not relying on the mainstream media to turn up. Here are a few hints to get you going, using a smartphone. Before you go out Try and make sure your phone is fully charged. Pack your charged battery pack and charging cable if you have one. Make sure you have space on your phone to record onto.

Netanyahu Killed A Top Iranian General To Provoke Regional Conflict

Benjamin Netanyahu continues to raise the risk of a Mideast regional war which could draw in the U.S. — and the mainstream media is hiding the danger from its audience. Israel’s provocative aerial assassination of a senior Iranian military leader in Damascus on April 1 is only Netanyahu’s latest effort to expand the fighting across the region, partly to put off his own painful day of reckoning. He knows that America has troops stationed all over the Mideast, and he hopes that Iran will retaliate against them, escalating conflict.

Building Democratic Governance On The Internet

The default form of governance on Internet platforms is "implicit feudalism," Nathan Schneider provocatively declares in his new book Governance Spaces: Democratic Design for Online Life. Implicit feudalism is "a bias, both cultural and technical, for building communities as fiefdoms," in which founders become "benevolent dictators for life," he argues.  Unfortunately, authoritarian governance is not confined to social media platforms. The same tendencies bleed into the "real world," too, if only because the lines between online and "real life" have become quite blurry these days.

Ad And PR Industry Directors Have Ties To Heavily Polluting Industries

Half of the board members at the world’s six largest advertising and public relations companies have ties to polluting industries, DeSmog can reveal. Of the 64 total board members at Omnicom Group, WPP, Interpublic Group (IPG), Publicis Groupe, Dentsu and Havas, 32 have significant experience in carbon-heavy sectors such as fossil fuels, fossil fuel financing, plastics, utilities, and aviation. Twenty-two are still serving in roles at such companies. With combined revenues of $67 billion in 2022, the six firms dominate the communications industry, and have hundreds of subsidiary agencies around the world. Of the 64 total board members at Omnicom Group, WPP, Interpublic Group (IPG), Publicis Groupe, Dentsu and Havas, 32 have significant experience in carbon-heavy sectors such as fossil fuels, fossil fuel financing, plastics, utilities, and aviation. Twenty-two are still serving in roles at such companies.

The Truth About China’s Economy: Debunking Western Media Myths

China’s breakneck growth has not only aroused envy in the West, but also prompted the proliferation of doomsday predictions about China’s economy. We are told that we are at “peak China”, that China can only go downhill from here, that China’s property bubble is about to burst and throw China into a morass of Japanification and secular stagnation, that China has been stealing technology all these years, and the stolen technology has been powering the growth. And now that President Biden is going to make it impossible for them to do so, that China will stop growing, that China has a serious unemployment crisis, that President Xi’s authoritarian leadership is stifling growth by stifling innovation and entrepreneurship.

PEN America Self-Destructs

PEN America, once an important defender of rights for writers, editors and artists, has, under the direction of former State Department official Suzanne Nossel, abandoned its mission, destroyed its credibility and provoked a revolt among its members.  Its refusal to condemn the genocide in Gaza and Israel’s targeted killings of writers, academics and journalists, has seen numerous writers withdraw from the annual PEN World Voices Festival in New York and Los Angeles, scheduled for April and May. PEN America has not only failed to denouce the genocide but provides platforms to Israelis who use racist and dehumanizing language to describe Palestinians.

TikTok And Israel

The TikTok social media platform is used by millions of people in the United States and all over the world. Most often they share videos of their families or their pets or their latest dance steps. Sometimes they share political opinions about the news of the day, and therein lies the latest ginned up panic over TikTok. The reasons that most people access TikTok seem rather harmless but TikTok’s corporate owner, ByteDance, is headquartered in Beijing, China, a fact which makes the company a political and economic target.

Global Censorship In The Name Of Democracy

A report from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) outlines how the government agency has been encouraging governments, tech platforms, establishment media outlets and advertisers to work together to censor huge swaths of the Internet. The 97-page “disinformation primer,” obtained by conservative firm America First Legal under the Freedom of Information Act, purports to be fighting fake news. However, much of the organization’s focus appears to be on preventing individuals from finding information online that challenges official narratives and leads to increased questioning of the system more generally.

The Shift: Schumer’s Speech

The mainstream media says there’s a “widening rift” developing between the United States and Israel. To certain extent, they’re right. We recently saw Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an obstacle to peace in the region. “I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government,” said the New York Senator in a floor speech.
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