Cuba Works on Vaccines Against New COVID-19 Variant

teleSUR | December 02, 2021

Cuban scientists working in the development of vaccines, Cuba, 2021
Cuban scientists working in the development of vaccines, Cuba, 2021 | Photo: EFE

BioCubaFarma announced on Wednesday that Cuban scientists are now working to develop new vaccines to fight the new strain of Coronavirus.

Eduardo Martinez, president of BioCubaFarma, announced on Wednesday, Dec. 1, that Cuban scientists are working to develop a new variant of vaccines to strike strains like Omicron of the Coronavirus.

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Omicron Spotlights Real Danger Of Global Vaccine Inequality

teleSUR | December 03, 2021

A health worker takes swab samples of travelers for COVID-19 nucleic testing outside a train station, Bangalore, India, Nov. 27, 2021.
A health worker takes swab samples of travelers for COVID-19 nucleic testing outside a train station, Bangalore, India, Nov. 27, 2021. | Photo: Xinhua

At the September COVID-19 Summit hosted by President Biden, a December target of 40-percent vaccination was set for the 92 poorest countries. Currently, there is little chance of this target being met in at least 82 of them.

As new COVID-19 variant Omicron makes its way to more countries, and has renewed concerns about its health impacts, experts have warned that its emergence is a stark reminder of the real danger of global vaccine inequality.

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India: The Peasantry’s Victory over Imperialism

Prabhat Patnaik

People’s Democracy | November 28, 2021

PARTICULAR battles often have a significance that goes beyond the immediate context, of which even the combatants may not be fully aware at the time. One such was the Battle of Plassey, which was not even a battle since one side’s general had already been bribed by the other not to lead his troops against it; and yet what happened in the woods of Plassey that day ushered in a whole new epoch in world history.

The battle between the kisan movement and the Modi government falls into the same genre. At the most obvious level it has been seen as a climbdown by the Modi government in the face of the incredible resoluteness shown by the agitating peasants. At another level it has also been seen as a setback for neo-liberalism, since corporate ascendancy over the agricultural sector, by making peasant agriculture subservient to the corporates, is a crucial part of the neo-liberal agenda, which the farm laws were seeking to promote.

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Indian Farmers’ Victory: Politics of Mass Struggle

Brinda Karat

People’s Democracy | November 28, 2021

THE historic victory of the kisan struggle in forcing the government to roll back the anti-farmer, pro-corporate three farm laws underlines the importance of the politics of mass struggle. The strength of the farmers’ united movements under the leadership of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha put the government on the defensive with the struggle organically transforming into a mass struggle against the BJP and its governments at the centre and states. This transformation with direct and spontaneous kisan mobilisations against BJP leaders’ visits to villages in Haryana and Western UP was linked to the real life experiences of the kisans themselves of the arrogant and aggressive promotion of corporate interests when kisans were suffering due to a variety of reasons created by government policies. The Lakhimpur Kheri atrocity symbolised both realities – that of kisan mobilisation and the other of the brutal nature of the BJP response.

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Views on China

Michael Robert’s Blog | November 28, 2021

The Chinese Communist party’s central committee recently held its sixth plenum, to discuss “the major achievements and historical experience” of the party in its 100-year-history, as well as to consider policy “for the future.”  Just after this, Jamie Dimon, the JPMorgan Chase chief executive, joked that the Wall Street Bank would outlast the Chinese Communist party. “I made a joke the other day that the Communist party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. I’ll make a bet that we last longer,” he said, speaking at the Boston College Chief Executives Club, a business forum.

What is the experience and future for China and its Communist party rule?  It seems appropriate to consider a number of new books on China that have been published that try to answer this question.

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Latin America: Why the Elections in Chile, Brazil and Colombia are Crucial

Emir Sader

Orinoco Tribune | November 29, 2021

Latin America has become the epicenter of the greatest political struggles of the 21st century because it was the epicenter of neoliberalism in the world. It was the region with the most neoliberal and radical governments. Therefore, it became the region where the anti-neoliberal governments developed, thus becoming the fundamental scenario of the most important disputes in the world in the 21st century.

The first decade of the century in Latin America was marked by the emergence of anti-neoliberal governments, which implemented a set of measures that attacked the main factor affecting the continent: social inequalities. The second decade saw the resumption of the right-wing initiative, which re-established neoliberal governments in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador, either through coups d’état, as in Brazil and Bolivia, or through elections, as in Argentina and Ecuador.

Even at the end of that decade, in some of these countries -Argentina and Bolivia- anti-neoliberal governments were reestablished through democratic elections. Meanwhile, Mexico joined the group of anti-neoliberal governments and other countries such as Peru and Chile began to experience open political disputes.

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Diego Sequera Discusses the Underpinnings of Venezuelan Election and Huge Maduro/Socialist Victory

Lowkey

MintPress News | November 30, 2021

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is celebrating as, with almost all votes counted, they appear to have won 20 out of the country’s 23 states in Sunday’s regional “mega elections.” More than 70,000 candidates stood for one of 3,082 public positions, including local mayorships, councillors, regional legislators and state governors — the vast majority of candidates affiliated with opposition parties.

The landslide victory was watched over by international observers from 55 countries, including a delegation from the European Union, who praised the organizational capacity of the National Electoral Council, effectively endorsing the proceedings.

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Greenwash: Oil industry promotes carbon capture fantasy

Fossil fuel production gets rebranded as “carbon management.”

by June Sekera and Neva Goodwin

The Conversation | November 23, 2021

After decades of sowing doubt about climate change and its causes, the fossil fuel industry is now presenting itself as the source of solutions.

After decades of sowing doubt about climate change and its causes, the fossil fuel industry is now shifting to a new strategy: presenting itself as the source of solutions. This repositioning includes rebranding itself as a “carbon management industry.”

This strategic pivot was on display at the Glasgow climate summit and at a Congressional hearing in October 2021, where CEOs of four major oil companies talked about a “lower-carbon future.” That future, in their view, would be powered by the fuels they supply and technologies they could deploy to remove the planet-warming carbon dioxide their products emit – provided they get sufficient government support.

That support may be coming. The Department of Energy recently added “carbon management” to the name of its Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management and is expanding its funding for carbon capture and storage.

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How can scientists update coronavirus vaccines for omicron? A microbiologist answers 5 questions about how Moderna and Pfizer could rapidly adjust mRNA vaccines

Deborah Fuller

The Conversation | December 03, 2021

If the omicron variant of the coronavirus is different enough from the original variant, it’s possible that existing vaccines won’t be as effective as they have been. If so, it’s likely that companies will need to update their vaccines to better fight omicron. Deborah Fuller is a microbiologist who has been studying mRNA and DNA vaccines for over two decades. Here she explains why vaccines might need to be updated and what that process would look like.

1. Why might vaccines need to be updated?

Basically, it’s a question of whether a virus has changed enough so that antibodies created by the original vaccine are no longer able to recognize and fend off the new mutated variant.

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