Iran: Communists accuse Iranian government of killings blamed on protesters

by James Tweedie

Morning Star | January 03, 2018

IRAN’S communist party blamed “agent provocateurs” of the state yesterday for killings attributed to anti-government protesters

Navid Shomali, the Tudeh Party representative in Britain, said nine deaths overnight were part of attempts to justify a “massive crackdown on the protest movement.”Read More »

Bolivia: Morales hails renewed economic growth

Morning Star | January 04, 2018

BOLIVIAN President Evo Morales hailed on Tuesday last year’s return to economic growth under his 12-year-old Movement for Socialism government.

Mr Morales confirmed that 2017 had seen a 3.8 per cent increase in GDP as a result of increased public investment late in the year as well as increased co-operation between city and provincial governments.Read More »

Report: In 2017, Media Largely Failed to Connect Extreme Weather to Climate Change Amid Year of Hurricanes, Droughts, Disease

Public Citizen | January 05, 2018

WASHINGTON – Mainstream media outlets scored poorly on major metrics of climate change coverage in 2017, despite major extreme weather events, according to a new report by Public Citizen.

The analysis, “Carbon Omission: How the U.S. Media Underreported Climate Change in 2017,” looked at coverage from all U.S. news outlets in LexisNexis and conducted a separate targeted search of major outlets, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Network and MSNBC.Read More »

With North Korea Talks Within Reach, Diplomacy Needs Defending


 Peace Action | January 04, 2018

Washington, D.C. — December 12, 2017 — In response to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson proposing direct talks with North Korea without preconditions, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement:

“At long last, the administration has dropped the unattainable precondition that North Korea agree to denuclearize prior to negotiations. This more realistic posture could be just what we need to deescalate tensions and jumpstart the diplomatic process. North Korea would be wise to accept this olive branch and agree to come to the negotiating table without delay.Read More »

Agrotowns: Ecological pathways to development

by Donald Donato

People’s World | January 05, 2018

Agrotowns: Ecological pathways to development

Cuban argoecological urban farming. | Sustainable Sanitation Alliance / CC

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Imagine living in a town surrounded by ecologically friendly farms; walkable, green, with world-class cultural and health institutions, and flexible working schedules allowing you to get your hands dirty and exercise by working on a farm in the morning and studying, creating art, or playing with your children in the afternoon.

Envision a comfortable, well-constructed, and re-purposed rural town, devoted to growing the highest quality produce and food products, with the least amount of chemicals, packaging, and transportation costs. If you get the picture, you’re beginning to understand the idea of an “agrotown.”Read More »

Mapping a World From Hell

by Tom Engelhardt

TomDispatch | January 04, 2018

He left Air Force Two behind and, unannounced, “shrouded in secrecy,” flew on an unmarked C-17 transport plane into Bagram Air Base, the largest American garrison in Afghanistan. All news of his visit was embargoed until an hour before he was to depart the country.

More than 16 years after an American invasion “liberated” Afghanistan, he was there to offer some good news to a U.S. troop contingent once again on the rise. Before a 40-foot American flag, addressing 500 American troops, Vice President Mike Pence praised them as “the world’s greatest force for good,” boasted that American air strikes had recently been “dramatically increased,” swore that their country was “here to stay,” and insisted that “victory is closer than ever before.” As an observer noted, however, the response of his audience was “subdued.”  (“Several troops stood with their arms crossed or their hands folded behind their backs and listened, but did not applaud.”)Read More »

Inequality is Feeding America

by | January 03, 2018

Agricultural workers in Salinas, California.  (Photo: Michael Davidson/flickr/cc)

Inequality doesn’t just come out of the blue; it’s intentionally created by decisions that elites make — usually behind closed doors, so those knocked down don’t know what (or who) hit them.

Take America’s 4 million fast-food workers, whose average pay hovers around a miserly $300 a week before taxes.

Read More »

“The seeds of revolt are present in many places”

Interview with John Bellamy Foster, Editor of Monthly Review. By JIPSON JOHN and JITHEESH P.M.

Front Line | January 03, 2018

John Bellamy Foster, Editor of the internationally reputed Monthly Reviewpublished from the United States, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon, is one of the leading Marxist thinkers in the world. Best known for his contributions to Marxian ecology, Foster’s other areas of interest and scholarly engagements include writings on political economy, Marxist theory, capitalism, socialism, and environmental sociology. Before turning his focus on Marxian ecology, his primary engagement was with analyzing the capitalist economy and its crisis. Monopoly Capital, a classic Marxian work on capitalism by Paul M. Sweezy and Paul Baran, had a profound impact on Foster in his early years. In 1986, he published The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism: An Elaboration of Marxian Political Economy on the basis of his PhD dissertation.Read More »

India: Growth for Whom?

Frontier Editorial | Vol. 50, No.25, Dec 24 – 30, 2017

Persons in power had been boasting about India’s high rate of growth in terms of the GDP. Now the fall in the rate of growth is being highlighted, while the official spokesmen are dishing out the hope, somewhat against hope that the rate of growth will soon pick up.

For one thing the impact of the global recession on the Indian economy was not negligible. The Indian economy was, however, not as much export-oriented as that of China. This was not due to the perspicacity of India’s policy makers but to popular struggles of varying forms and degrees, which prevented the ruling authorities from implementing full-scale globalisation. Recently, however, Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move has had a debilitating impact, particularly on the informal sector of the economy, besides causing immense harassment to the common money-using public. The fact that 99% of the demonetised cash returned to the baking system bears testimony to the fact that the so-called campaign against black money is a big failure, if not a big bluff. Demonetisation  coupled with Goods and Services Tax (GST) has slowed down the rate of growth of the GDP; on this there can be no disagreement. The twin evils seem to have hastened the process of decline of the manufacturing sector that grew by just 1.2 percent in the first quarter in 2017-18, as compared to 5.3 percent in the preceding quarter in 2016-17.Read More »