At World Health Organization, the future of health care is being decided, and contested

Peoples Dispatch | February 27, 2023

Jyotsna Singh of the People’s Health Movement talks about the recent Executive Board meeting of the World Health Organization. She talks about what happens during such meetings and the major issues on the table at the WHO. This is a key moment for the future of global health care as amendments to the International Health Regulations and the Pandemic Treaty are being discussed. Jyotsna describes the concerns raised by countries of the Global South and the ways in which the pandemic has influenced these discussions.

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Ukraine conflict, after a year

Farooque Chowdhury

Countercurrents | February 27, 2023

Over the last few weeks, February 24, 2023 was the most observed day on geopolitical stage. The famous, and posing as dignified, MSM ceaselessly predicted and propagated: Russia is going to begin a new offensive on February 24, 2023 in Ukraine.

But there was nothing like that.

A year has passed since Russia began its Special Military Operation in Ukraine. The imperialism’s proxy war in Ukraine is older, since 2014. This older part is either forgotten or goes unuttered by a section of analysts.

Guns are busy in the Ukraine battle fields, however. Civilian life is devastated in the European country.  Millions of Ukraine civilians in their land and spread out in countries in Europe are going through unfathomable suffering – cannon-fodder of an imperialist war!

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Russia’s Ukraine offensive in suspended animation

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | February 24, 2023

In a clandestine visit to Kiev, US President Joe Biden (C) met Ukrainian president Zelensky and his wife Olena, Feb. 20, 2023

The general expectation that the first anniversary of Russia’s special military operations in Ukraine would mark the commencement of a big military offensive has been belied, going by the speeches by President Vladimir Putin and the US President Joe Biden, separated by a few hours on February 21, in Moscow and Warsaw. 

Neither said anything very original. Putin cut himself loose towards the end of his speech by dropping a bombshell that Russia is suspending its participation in the New START treaty, which is its last nuclear weapons pact with the US. But the foreign ministry in Moscow has since clarified that Russia will continue to observe the terms of the treaty till 2026. 

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Anti-NATO, Anti-EU, Anti-War, Protest Rallies Hit Germany, France, Italy

Countercurrents | February 27, 2023

Rallies against the U.S.-led NATO bloc, the EU, supply of weapons to Ukraine and anti-war have been held across France, and in Italy and Germany. At protest sites, demonstrators defaced and tore down NATO and EU flags.


Tens of thousands of Germans braved the elements to attend the Uprising for Peace, a massive rally organized by Die Linke (Left Party) politician Sahra Wagenknecht and author Alice Schwarzer on Saturday.

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Humanity Faces Converging Debt Crises

Richard Heinberg

Countercurrents | February 23, 2023

High levels of global debt are likely to turn what could be a controllable shift from expansion to contraction into a blowout of unfulfilled expectations and obligations, leading to widespread suffering.

An enormous debt bomb threatens the U.S. federal government and the nation’s financial system unless warring politicians can agree on a plan to defuse it. However, there are even bigger debt bombs ticking away beneath us all, of which fewer people are aware. It may be impossible to disarm all of them, but action is required to minimize the casualties.

Let’s start by focusing on the immediate U.S. debt threat, then widen our view to take in longer-term and more serious liabilities that have the potential to bring down the entire global industrial economy.

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COVID-19 And The Failure Of The Neoliberal Regulatory State

Lee Jones and Shahar Hameiri

Progress in Political Economy | February 09, 2023

We are delighted and very grateful to receive the 2022 AIPEN Richard Higgott Prize for our article “COVID-19 and the failure of the neoliberal regulatory state,” published in the journal, Review of International Political Economy. It is getting harder to remember just how extraordinary, and extraordinarily awful, the response to COVID-19 was in so many countries, and the sense of shock and disbelief that accompanied every step towards lockdowns and closed borders in the early months of 2020. This article documents our real-time effort, through the ‘fog of war’ of the pandemic’s first year and in the darkness of lockdown, to make sense of a reality that we were living through that seemed to make little sense: How come the world’s richest societies, governed by states rated by international technocrats and scientists as being among the best prepared for a pandemic, failed so abysmally to respond to a challenge they had notionally been anticipating for many years? In short, how did we end up in this mess?

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Agrarian change, populism, and a new farmers’ movement in 21st century Pakistani Punjab

Muhammad Yahya Aftab and Noaman G. Ali

Journal of Agrarian Change | First published: 09 November 2022 |
[Correction added on 20 December 2022, after first online publication: The article title was amended.]


Activists and scholars have debated whether “agrarian populisms” premised on multiple classes and groups can pursue progressive objectives if exploiters and exploited are in the same movements. In Pakistan, the militant Pakistan Kissan Ittehad emerged in 2012 by uniting different classes of owner-cultivators who are largely not in direct relations of exploitation with each other. We argue that the PKI nevertheless advances the interests of a “second tier” of rural capitalists, who exploit rural labourers, while underplaying the interests of owner-peasant farmers. This divergence of interests has contributed to the fragmentation of PKI along class and political lines, including attempts by peasant farmers to independently organize around issues particular to them. We suggest that progressive agrarian populism must hinge on the interests of rural labourers and peasant farmers and that second-tier capitalist farmers may be tactical allies as they oppose neoliberal globalization. However, rural labourers and peasants are ideologically and organizationally weak, and thus, the possibility of left-wing agrarian populism requires much legwork.

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Horn of Africa likely to witness failed rainy season for sixth consecutive time: International agencies

Humanitarian crisis brewing; communities will need years to recover from this historically severe drought

Kiran Pandey

Down To Earth | February 17, 2023

To address the devastating drought-induced hunger and malnutrition across the region, World Food Programme has developed a regional drought response plan for the Horn of Africa. Representative photo: iStock. To address the devastating drought-induced hunger and malnutrition across the region, World Food Programme has developed a regional drought response plan for the Horn of Africa. Representative photo: iStock.

A sixth consecutive failed rainy season is expected to deepen the drought crisis faced by millions of people in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA), according to two recent analyses.

As of February 2023, the last five rainy seasons have been deficit and the upcoming one in March-May is expected to be below average, noted a joint statement released by multilateral agencies and another report by REACH, a humanitarian initiative.

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