Biden Administration with ‘Solid Case’ Expects Cape Verde to Decide Soon on Alex Saab’s Illegal Detention

José Manuel Blanco Diaz

Orinoco Tribune | July 01, 2021

Colombia born Biden's advisor for the western hemisphere. File photo.

A new plot around the continuing illegal detention of the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab seems to be underway, judging from statements by Juan González, the Colombian adviser to US President Joe Biden, who serves as senior director of the White House National Security Council for the western hemisphere.

In an interview he gave to the Colombian radio station La W Radio, González remarked that he was certain that the US administration is on solid legal ground in its actions against Saab, despite the countless elements of illegalities in his arrest and detention in Cape Verde that have made numerous legal experts in Venezuela and abroad label his case as abduction.

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Twilight Capitalism

Fernwood Publishing | Streamed live on May 11, 2021

Fernwood Publishing presents the launch of Twilight Capitalism: Karl Marx and the Decay of the Profit System . This event will feature a panel discussion with authors, Murray E.G. Smith, Jonah Butovsky and Josh J. Watterton, moderated by Tim Hayslip. This event is part of Radical May, an international festival of books and authors.

Purchase a copy of Twilight Capitalism: Karl Marx and the Decay of the Profit System here:…

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Arab Marxism and National Liberation Symposium

AAEF Center for Arab Studies University of Houston | June 03, 2021

The Arab-American Educational Foundation Center for Arab Studies at the University of Houston, the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, and the Mahdi Amel Cultural Center cordially hosted a virtual symposium on Arab Marxism and National Liberation: Selected Writings of Mahdi Amel on Tuesday, May 18.

Mahdi Amel is one of the most prominent Marxist theorists to have emerged from the Arab world and the Afro-Asian arena. His selected writings are now finally available in English Translation. This symposium includes the book’s editor Dr. Hicham Safieddine (King’s College London) and its translator, Dr. Angela Giordani (Columbia University). It also features contributions by Drs. David McNally (University of Houston) and Abdel Razzaq Takriti (University of Houston), and was moderated by Dr. Mayssoun Sukarieh (King’s College London).

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Spinoza and the Politics of Freedom

Dan Taylor

Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2021, 304 pp., £80 hb

ISBN 9781474478427

Reviewed by Timothy Deane-Freeman

Dan Taylor’s Spinoza and the Politics of Freedom subtly achieves apparently contradictory ends. On the one hand, this elegant and restrained monograph situates Spinoza, resisting a long-standing temptation to ‘make [him] one of us’ (254), by transposing his rigorously particular concepts neatly onto contemporary problems and vocabularies. This tendency, which has plagued Spinoza almost since his works were first published, has birthed multiple images of the seventeenth century Dutch rationalist, ranging from the ‘radically individualistic’ (119) libertarian we encounter in the work of Rice or Den Uyl, through to the collectivist thinker of the ‘multitude’ whose genealogy we might trace through Marx to Althusser, Matheron and Negri. And while this constellation of simulacra has proven immensely productive, it has also often served to obscure the actual social and political problems to which Spinoza’s thought was addressed – a problem Taylor’s work seeks to rectify.

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The History of Marxism in Japan w/ Gavin Walker – Part 2

Against Japanism | May 04, 2021

Against Japanism presents Part 2 of an interview with Dr. Gavin Walker about the history of Marxism in Japan, focusing on the postwar period starting in the late 1940s.  

First, we discuss the reason behind the Japanese Communist Party’s re-emergence as a mass party in the immediate postwar period. As mentioned in Part 1, in the 1920s and 30s, the JCP was a member of the Communist International or the Comintern (also known as the Third International) headquartered in the Soviet Union. Throughout its existence, members of the Comintern, who were representatives from communist parties from around the world, debated the meaning of fascism and how communists should respond to this rising far right movement. 

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15 million in Asia’s cities can be affected by sea-level rise by 2030: Greenpeace

Madhumita Paul

Down To Earth | June 29, 2021

15 million in Asia’s cities can be affected by sea-level rise by 2030, says Greenpeace report. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As many as 15 million people and 1,829 square kilometres land in seven Asian cities could be affected by extreme sea-level rise and coastal flooding by 2030, a recent report by Greenpeace East Asia flagged

The report, titled The Projected Economic Impact of Extreme Sea-Level Rise in Seven Asian Cities in 2030, analysed cities that are economic centres and are located on or close to the coast. The seven cities are: Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Jakarta, Seoul, Taipei and Manila.

An estimated $724 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) could be impacted due to extreme sea-level rise and coastal flooding by 2030, according to the report. The estimated GDP impact accounted ranged from 0.4 per cent to 96 per cent of each city’s entire GDP.

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Pandemic pressures made parents consider quitting academia

Holly Else

Nature | June 28, 2021

Research scientists work on the development of replicating RNA vaccine at the University of Washington School of Medicine
Medical researchers working on a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

The stress of balancing work and home life during the COVID-19 pandemic has left many medical scientists with children questioning their future careers, and women are the hardest hit, according to a survey at a US university.

The study, published on 15 June in JAMA Network Open, concluded that an increase in reported work–life stress since the start of the pandemic “may disproportionately decrease the long-term retention and promotion of junior and midcareer women faculty”1.

Last September, Susan Matulevicius, the assistant dean for faculty wellness at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and her colleagues sent a survey about work–life balance to the more than 3,000 members of academic staff in the university’s faculty of medicine. Just over one-third responded.

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Ancient Siberian cave hosted Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans—possibly at the same time

Elizabeth Pennisi

In Siberia, researchers lay out a grid in Denisova Cave to systematically sample soil layers for DNA. RICHARD G. ROBERTS

A decade ago, anthropologists shocked the world when they discovered a fossil pinkie bone from a then-unknown group of extinct humans in Siberia’s Denisova Cave. The group was named “Denisovans” in its honor. Now, an extensive analysis of DNA in the cave’s soils reveals it also hosted modern humans—who arrived early enough that they may have once lived there alongside Denisovans and Neanderthals.

The new study “gives [researchers] unprecedented insight into the past,” says Mikkel Winther Pedersen, a molecular paleoecologist at the University of Copenhagen who was not involved with the work. “It literally shows what [before] they have only been able hypothesize.”

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This ancient beetle is the first new species discovered in fossilized poop

Akila Raghavan

Science | June 30, 2021

Beetles are everywhere—and new members of Earth’s most diverse group of organisms are being discovered nearly every day. Now, for the first time, scientists have found a new species in an unusual place: the fossilized poop of a dinosaur ancestor. Found whole and remarkably intact, the 230-million-year-old beetle, named Triamyxa coprolithica, is the first insect to be scientifically described from fossilized feces, also known as coprolites.

“This is very exciting research,” says Spencer Lucas, a paleontologist at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, who was not involved in the work. “This study is cutting edge and explores a whole new area of paleontology that has only been understood in the last decade.”

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