Wildfires ravaged parts of Spain, France and Portugal Friday in the blistering heat, burning forests and prompting widespread evacuations. The ongoing heatwave has already claimed hundreds of lives in the west European countries. There is a spike in heat wave-related casualties in Western Europe.
On Saturday, La Vanguardia reported that there were more than 360 deaths in Spain caused by the unbelievable heatwaves, and in Portugal, 238 deaths were recorded between July 7 and July 13.
France is currently on high alert for severe weather this weekend into next week.
Italy, Greece, Morocco and the UK are also bracing for extreme weather — including fire warnings — attributed to this week’s heatwaves.
About 14,000 people have been forced to flee France’s south-western Gironde region due to dozens of wildfires that have spread across Portugal and Spain. The fires have been attributed to soaring temperatures not seen since 1757 across Europe.
An avoidable controversy has arisen recently due to the unfortunate comments of a politician of Punjab who called Shahid Bhagat Singh a terrorist. That this politician is linked closely to the Khalistani ideology explains his narrow worldview, and his comments regarding Bhagat Singh were quickly dismissed by most people. However to counter false propaganda based on such comments, it will be helpful to record some more details.
Bhagat Singh and his close colleagues made it amply clear time and again that they did not believe in indiscriminate violence and greatly valued human life. Bhagat Singh wrote very clearly, ‘non-violence as a policy indispensable for all mass movements’ while force is justifiable only ‘when resorted to as a matter of terrible necessity.’ During their trial Bhagat Singh and B.K.Dutt said in a joint statement,‘ We hold human life sacred beyond words.’ When asked to define ‘revolution’, they said equally clearly that it did not mean the cult of ‘bomb and pistol’. World level fraternity based on equality and justice was emphasized by Bhagat Singh.
Finance ministers are the pangolins in the world of international diplomacy, solitary animals and predatory, unlike foreign ministers who are like glowworms, mesmerising and gorgeous animals that create light through their tail. While the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attending G20 foreign ministers meeting in Bali a week ago staged a dramatic walkout when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rose to speak, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen simply sat through the speech by Russian minister Anton Siluanov at the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs that began in Bali on Friday.
Indeed, Yellen said her piece — calling Russia’s war in Ukraine the “greatest challenge” to the global economy and all that — while Russian Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov who was present, calmly listened. But a joint communique is unlikely, as the US is pressing G20 allies for a price cap on Russian oil, where consensus is lacking. All the same, the moderation in Yellen’s behaviour catches attention, as she realises, perhaps, that she no longer sets the global agenda.
In a recent interview with CNN, former US National Security Advisor John Bolton affirmed his role in coups abroad. The hardliner was an architect of the invasion of Iraq, and most recently, played a role in the attempted coup against Venezuelan President Maduro.
On July 12, former US National Security advisor John Bolton, admitted on national television that he had helped orchestrate coups in foreign countries. Bolton was speaking to CNN host Jake Tapper amid the hearings in Congress on the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, by supporters of former president Donald Trump.
During the exchange, Bolton stated his disagreement with accusations that the riot was a “coup d’etat aimed at the US constitution”, arguing that it was a “once in a lifetime occurrence”. Tapper then stated “One doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup”.
Bolton’s response, in a widely circulated clip, was “I disagree with that. As someone who has helped plan coup d’etats, not here, but you know other places, it takes a lot of work. And that’s not what he [Trump] did.” Citing his expertise “having planned coups”, in Tapper’s words, Bolton declined to go into specifics, only to say “Well I wrote about Venezuela in the book [“The Room Where It Happened”], and it [the coup] turned out not to be successful– not that we had all that much to do with it– but I saw what it took for an opposition to try and overturn an illegally elected president and they failed…”
Sri Lanka owes 81% of its external debt to US and European financial institutions and Western allies Japan and India. China owns just 10%. But Washington blames imaginary “Chinese debt traps” for the nation’s crisis, as it considers a 17th IMF structural adjustment program.
In the few weeks that have passed since the United States Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24, stripping abortion rights from millions of women, the people of the United States have continued to fight back. Despite assurances, the response from the Biden administration to protect the fundamental right has been deemed resoundingly inadequate.
“The mass of the people will have to flood into the streets, and will have to remain in the streets,” Monica Johnson, a young organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, told Peoples Dispatch. “We will have to do everything they can to let these politicians know that they will not be able to quietly and peacefully go on with their lives, trying to jeopardize the lives of so many millions of people.”
Johnson, alongside others, participated in an 18-hour protest in front of the Georgia Judicial Center in Atlanta, from July 4 to 5, in order to protest a pending Georgia abortion ban that would prohibit most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This action is part of a growing movement in defense of abortion rights, rising up in states where politicians are doing everything in their power to eliminate this right. These states include Georgia, and South Carolina where, on June 28, around 150 protesters descended on the Statehouse to demonstrate against a six week ban on abortion and the threat by conservative lawmakers of a total ban.
The overturning of Roe vs. Wade in the USA highlights the precariousness of legal institutions and the necessity for continuous struggle to both push for and enforce social rights. It shows the limitations of legal and state apparatuses, that are themselves a reflection of existing power relations and vested interests, but also the ways that previous struggles and class forces are continuously inscribed within such institutions. While this decision clearly signifies a new intensity of attacks on women’s rights in the USA, it may also (hopefully) signify a heightened mobilisation and coordination of left-wing struggles.
This increasingly fractious relation between church, the capitalist state, and capital accumulation regimes, alongside increasing social struggles is not unique to the US. In a recent article in New Political Economy, entitled ‘A time of reproductive unrest: the articulation of capital accumulation, social reproduction, and the Irish state’, I analyse similar dynamics in the Republic of Ireland (herein Ireland) and argue that this is a time of Reproductive Unrest. The concept Reproductive Unrest captures two dynamics, first the way that economic crisis (in this case the repercussions following the financial crisis) were “resolved” by displacing it to the sphere of social reproduction (housing, water, healthcare, reproductive rights) and in particular, working-class communities. And second, the way that economic crisis and the dominant accumulation regime that caused it were contested by these communities on the terrain of social reproduction and increasingly the capitalist state. Economic crisis was displaced to the social and then the political, which left behind an increasingly uneasy and unworkable institutional and political constellation.
CounterSpin interview with Adele Stan and Elliot Mincberg on John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court
Janine Jackson revisited CounterSpin‘s July 2005 interview with Adele Stan and Elliot Mincberg about John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court for the July 8, 2022, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.
Janine Jackson: “The Lonely Chief: How John Roberts Lost Control of the Court.” That was the plaintive headline of Politico’s June 25 report explaining that Roberts, along with his “middle of the road” approach on abortion, would likely be a casualty of the court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling.
In July of 2005, on the occasion of Roberts’ nomination to the court, CounterSpin host Steve Rendall and I spoke with journalist Adele Stan and with People for the American Way’s Elliot Mincberg about what was known then about Roberts’ record and what he might mean for the court. We’re going to start with my introduction.
JJ: Many in the news media seemed to breathe a sigh of relief at the news that George Bush was nominating conservative Washington insider John Roberts to the Supreme Court. And not just the folks you’d expect, like Brit Hume at Fox News, who shared a chuckle with congressional correspondent Brian Wilson and White House reporter Carl Cameron when he noted that Bush had named a white male “just like all of us.”
Well, even while admitting that Roberts’ record is sketchy on some issues, many mainstream reporters seem to emphasize the reassurance that he is not a right wing trench dweller like some others who were thought to be on Bush’s short list of prospective nominees.
The Communist Women’s Movement (CWM), virtually unknown today, was the world’s first international revolutionary organisation of women. Formed in 1920, the CWM mapped out a programme for women’s emancipation; participated in struggles for women’s rights; and worked to advance women’s participation in the Communist movement.
The present volume, part of a series on the Communist International in Lenin’s time, contains proceedings and resolutions of CWM conferences, along with reports on its work around the world. Most of the contents here are published in English for the first time, with almost half appearing for the first time in any language.
[NEW DELHI] Antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella Typhi, the typhoid bacteria, have spread from South Asia to other countries nearly 200 times since 1990, new research suggests.
Every year, an estimated 11 to 20 million people suffer from typhoid and 128,000 to 161,000 victims die from the disease, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Typhoid spreads through water contaminated by an infected person’s faeces. Its symptoms include prolonged fever, nausea, rashes, headache and diarrhoea or constipation.
“S. Typhi can only infect humans, and by studying how closely related bacteria found in different places are, we discovered that typhoid had spread from South Asia, the home of typhoid, to many parts of the world many times,” says Gagandeep Kang, co-author of the study and professor at the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory in the Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.