Kashmir on the edge of the abyss

by 

 The New York Review of Books | August 13, 2019

Security personnel patrol during a lockdown in Srinagar on August 10, 2019. (Photo by TAUSEEF MUSTAFA / AFP) (Photo credit should read TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

In an unsettled world, amid violent wars and imperial occupations, with all norms ruthlessly cast aside, did Kashmir really have a chance to be free? As unrest spreads, India, the vaunted “world’s largest democracy,” has imposed a total communications blackout. Kashmir is cut off from the world. With even the most conciliatory and collaborationist political leaders now under house arrest, one can only fear the worst for the rest of the region’s population.

For almost half a century, Kashmir has been ruled from Delhi with the utmost brutality. In 2009, the discovery of some 2,700 unmarked graves in three of the region’s twenty-two districts alone confirmed what had long been suspected: a decades-long history of disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Torture and rape of both women and men has been reported, but since the Indian Army is effectively above the law, its soldiers have impunity in perpetrating these atrocities and nobody can be charged with war crimes.Read More »

Hong Kong in the Crosshairs of Global Power and Ideological Struggles

by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

Home CAPITALISM & SOCIALISM Hong Kong in the Crosshairs of Global Power and Ideological Struggles

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Urban water crisis growing, finds new study

A Journal of People report

In 15 major cities in the global south, almost half of all households lack access to safe, reliable and affordable water, affecting more than 50 million people, finds a new study.

Access to piped utility water – safe, reliable and affordable water – is lowest in the cities of sub-Saharan Africa, where only 22% of households receive piped water.

The research finds:

Of those households that did have access, the majority received intermittent service, which results in contaminated water.Read More »

Migration to Mongolia: Human journey was much earlier than previously assumed

A Journal of People report

Stone tools uncovered in Mongolia by an international team of archaeologists indicate that modern humans traveled across the Eurasian steppe about 45,000 years ago, finds a new University of California, Davis, study. The date is about 10,000 years earlier than archaeologists previously assumed.

The site also points to a new location for where modern humans may have first encountered their mysterious cousins, the now extinct Denisovans, said Nicolas Zwyns, an associate professor of anthropology and lead author of the study.

Zwyns led excavations from 2011 to 2016 at the Tolbor-16 site along the Tolbor River in the Northern Hangai Mountains between Siberia and northern Mongolia.

The age of the site – determined by luminescence dating on the sediment and radiocarbon dating of animal bones found near the tools – is about 10,000 years earlier than the fossil of a human skullcap from Mongolia, and roughly 15,000 years after modern humans left Africa.Read More »

Youtube Bans 210 Pro-Beijing Channels Posting About Hong Kong

teleSUR | August 23, 2019

A screenshot of the first entry in YouTube when searching
A screenshot of the first entry in YouTube when searching “Hong Kong”, Friday August 23, 2019. | Photo: telesUR

Google joins Facebook and Twitter by banning inconvenient accounts to specific interests, implying state-backed information is some sort of a crime. 

YouTube’s parent company, Google, announced Thursday that they had disabled 210 channels engaged in posting pro-Beijing content related to Hong Kong’s protests.

By doing so, Google joins Facebook and Twitter, which also informed Monday that hundreds of thousands of accounts were deleted from their platforms for similar reasons. Twitter published a statement in which first line they imply that state-backed information was some sort of a crime.

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Amazon: Protests Around the World Against Bolsonaro’s Inaction

teleSUR | August 23, 2019

Demonstrations outside the Brazilian Embassy in London, U.K, August 23, 2019.
Demonstrations outside the Brazilian Embassy in London, U.K, August 23, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @nicholas_till

Although the Amazon rainforest is literally on fire, the Brazilian president does not react, arguing that “it’s fire season” out there.

The Fridays for Future Movement (FFM) called on the world’s citizens to demonstrate in front of the Brazilian embassies to demand President Jair Bolsonaro measures against wildfires unleashed at the Amazon region.

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Climate change, Amazon fires come to France with G7 protests

by Mark Gruenberg

People’s World | August 23, 2019

Climate change, Amazon fires come to France with G7 protests
Powerful ranching and farming interests encouraged by Brazil’s right wing president, have been setting fires in the Amazon forests to “clear” the once protected land for capitalist development. | AP

BIARRITZ, France—The continuing controversy over international action – or lack of it – to deal with climate change, and the latest big threat to the environment, the massive Brazilian Amazonian wildfires, will descend on the G7 summit here this weekend.

The object: To force the leaders of the world’s top industrialized nations to do something about the issue, and to repudiate right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s snide lies that environmentalists have set some of the 72,843 wildfires (so far) in Brazil this summer.

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Thick smoke from human-caused fires in the Amazon spreads across South America

by Brasil de Fato

Peoples Dispatch | August 22, 2019

Wildfires become more common as the dry season approaches in the Amazon; ranchers and farmers use them to clear land for crops and pasture.

As wildfires increase at a record rate in the Brazilian Amazon, a black smoke plunged São Paulo into darkness on Monday, Aug. 19, thousands of miles away from the rainforest, turning day into night in the country’s largest city.

Before reaching the south and southeast of Brazil, smoke particles hit the Andes, creating an even thicker smoke as they combined with pollution from fires in Bolivia and Paraguay.

Brazil is recording the largest wave of wildfires in the last five years, according to its National Institute for Space Research (INPE).Read More »

Earth 4°C Hotter

by Robert Hunziker

Dissident Voice | August 23, 2019

A decade ago several prominent climate scientists discussed the prospects of a 4°C Earth. Their concern was qualified “… if greenhouse gases do not slow down, then expect a 4C Earth by 2055.” Of course, that would be catastrophic, and one can only assume those scientists must have recognized real risks. Otherwise, why address the issue of 4°C by 2055 in the first instance?

Not only that but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, AR4 (2007) addressed the 4°C issue and a 2009 International Climate Conference at Oxford, “4 Degrees and Beyond” discussed the consequences at length; e.g., deserts in southern Europe, sea levels up 2 metres by 2100, unleashing a “carbon time bomb” in the Arctic, half of the world uninhabitable, etc.Read More »

Lamola’s decision: Is South Africa promoting the rule of law or pleasing the Greeks and Trojans at the same time?

by Fredson Guilengue

Pambazuka News | August 07, 2019

To halt the decision to extradite Mozambique’s former Finance minister, Manuel Chang, could be a test case for President Ramaphosa’s long-term ability to bring about real change in South Africa’s regional relations by potentially making it a good example for the fight against corruption.

The decision by South Africa’s newly appointed minister of Justice and Correctional Services, David Lamola, to halt his predecessor’s decision made in May this year to extradite Mozambique’s former Finance minister, Manuel Chang, to Mozambique rather than to the United States of America is open to various interpretations. This volte face by South African authorities, which may have significant regional political implications, can be interpreted as part of President Ramaphosa’s domestic and regional effort to strengthen the rule of law and therefore a major effort for regional stability by the newly elected administration.

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